My pond was a buttonbush filled intermittent puddle when I first bought Pure Florida. Even then, it wasn't exactly a natural wetspot, as the east side of it was a dam of sorts formed by the county road berm. Water draining from the slight rise that would eventually become the site of Pure Florida HQ seeped downhill until stopped by the berm.
It dried up a lot, was fishless, and was only about a foot or two in depth when it was full. Eventually, I had the backhoe guy dig it out and he created a rectangular pond with steep sides, which held water more often than not ... although at wildly different levels.
Before the dig out, the water weeds in the pond often held pretty little newts in abundance. After the dig out, and the addition of bluegills, bass, minnows, and catfish, the newts became a scarce item.
That has always bothered me. I really like amphibians and they need all the help they can get these days. Around the world, their numbers are dropping due to development and climate change.
This winter, my pond dried up completely. If you've been paying attention, you know that I did a fish rescue a while back and the bluegill refishugees are safely ensconced in my aquaculture tank out back.
Now the pond has a water level of about one foot covering almost the entire bottom. The shallow water is very clear and some aquatic vegetation is beginning to respond to the tug of spring sunshine.
When you walk up to the pond now, a horde of 3 inch tadpoles go wiggling away from the shallows where they had been basking. One night soon the toads will have their "let's just get this over with" orgy down there and the pond will then be shared by vast numbers of tiny tadpoles, no bigger than your pinky nail.
Yesterday, I took a break from my National Boards "reflective" writing and went for a walk around the place. Somehow, I found myself belly down on the dock watching the tadpolian comings and goings. The sky was perfect blue and the warm sun gently balanced the cool breeze. It was good and I stayed awhile longer than I had planned.
I'm glad I did, because a casual walk-by would probably have missed the amazing little creature you see in these last two photos. He's not a fish, and not a tadpole. For the answer to his identity, just click here.