Friday, May 22, 2009

If You Build It ...

I've posted a few times about small, almost fishless ponds that I am installing here and there as a water source for drinkers like birds and deer, a reproductive site for amphibians and insects, and a habitat for wetland plants that I propagate.
They are almost fishless, because I always place a few mosquito fish in them to keep the mosquitoes from successfully raising their young in these ponds. It's important to keep larger fish out of these waterholes so that the amphibians can breed successfully in them.

This is the little pond site that Bear helped me dig last year. If you look in the right pond you can see the toad pair spawning a new generation.
I knew there would be eggs this morning as we have had a wonderful rainy week and the toad trilling was thunderous last night.

Future toads on the way to fascinate Bear during our walks.

He has already learned that picking a toad up in your mouth is not a great idea.

These tiny water holes are being utilized just as I had hoped. I've placed islands and branch "escape ladders" in them so that any critter that falls in has a chance to get out or at least rest until I come by and release them.

I try to keep them full to the brim most of the time, but the ponds farther out in the hinterlands sometimes get lower than I want. At that point, they become a death trap unless outfitted with escape structures.

I still carry a drowned six-lined race runner lizard around my neck like an albatross.

... not really, but it bugs me that I filled the ponds and didn't immediately install the safety features.

Learn from my mistakes.

I do.


Sayre said...

I love that you provide escape structures! When the pool mostly emptied last fall, what was left became a watering hole for birds and a hatching ground for snakes. We're in the process of deciding whether or not to scrap the pool (every time I think a decision has been made, Mr. Sayre waffles again), but have decided that if the pool goes, we want to put some kind of water feature out there for our friends.

robin andrea said...

Nice pond building going on there. Those frogs definitely appreciate your efforts. Tough lesson learned with that race runner lizard, and sharing it here will probably save a whole lot more.

threecollie said...

Herps! My favorites! Your little ponds are wonderful!

Dani said...

I wish everyone had your giving nature.

Floridacracker said...

I waffle some too, or do I? Yes, I think I do, well, not always ... anyway, good luck with that project!

I hate it when I cause unintentioned destruction.

Well, I love em too, but fish are my first love, so it's really tough for me to make fishless ponds!

Like you, I think we can all provide extra habitat if we just think about it!

Florida Beach Basics said...

great idea - I'm adding a ladder to my little fountain as a result of your suggestion. the fountain is my only "water feature", but it is used regularly by birds, squirrels, frogs, and lizards.

Carol said...

What are mosquito fish..where do you get them..can they be put in a birdbath that I use as a watering hole? I have a continuous drip into it to keep it full. Central FL has lots of mosquitos.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Experience is the ultimate designer, ... or something like that.

Floridacracker said...

Sounds like a busy water hole! Glad this was useful.

Mosquito fish (Gambusia) are easily dipped from ditches, ponds, and small creeks where they are usually the most common minnow along the shore or surface. They look a lot like a guppy who left his flashy clothes at home.
They are voracious predators of mosquito larvae.


Miz S said...

Always something cool going on in your little corner of paradise. I'm on my way outside right now to see what's up in mine. Have a great weekend, FC.

Floridacracker said...

You too Miz S.
Countin' down the days now.

Debris said...

That's a cool concept. What made you think of this idea? I like that you include the little escape sticks also.