My small pond has been dry for most of the past year with only short periods of wet. The good rains of February and early March have added just enough water to cover most of the bottom with about one foot of water.
The pond is shallow, fishless, and loaded with plants which makes it pretty ideal for amphibians.
Presently, they own the pond. I will have to add Gambusia minnows pretty soon to prevent mosquito problems as the weather warms up.
That black upside down question mark in the pond is a school of tiny tadpoles, just one of many such aggregations that move through the shallow water gobbling up every edible thing in their path. I couldn't get the whole thing in the picture, but there must be tens of thousands in that school alone.
I'm not sure who they are, but I know green tree frogs, chorus frogs, and toads were down there the night I made the Pure Frogida recording.
At this time, I think they are acting as a limiting factor on any new egg laying as they are ravenous and I have seen them clustered in suspicious balls eating something that could not be made out in the watery glare, but was indistinguishable from them as frog egg masses would be if surrounded by a tadpole feeding frenzy.
(Whoa ... that was a long sentence ... Hemingway version = The tadpoles ate the new eggs.)
The water in the pond is clear and at the shallow edge you can watch a very small world go about the business of survival. I crouched down and took this picture of tadpoles and didn't realize until I enlarged it on the computer that I had captured them devouring the remains of some poor millipede who had fallen into the pond and drowned.
So the tadpoles rule the roost right now, but they have their own predators pursuing them. Fishing spiders are dancing across the surface and very busy predacious diving beetle larvae are patrolling with snorkel butts up.
A pond is a life magnet attracting new creatures as if they were some stray bit of iron ... me included.
I can't wait to see what shows up next.