After feeding nocturnal predators several schools of Koi, I made two changes to the garden pond in the front yard.
Change number one was the addition of a "safe room" of green vinyl coated hardware cloth in the shape of a tunnel. I installed this in the abyss of the 160 gallon pond, with a flat rock over the top. It blended in nicely and allowed the next crop of fish a place to dash to when danger approached.
Change number two was to switch from $6 a fish koi, (cheap for koi, but still ...), to $0.25 baby comet goldfish from Petsmart. For the price of a half a koi, I could buy a whole flotilla of comets.
... And comets, fish snobs, grow up to be very bright, pretty, personable fish.
Factory fish sounds a little harsh, but we HAVE manufactured these lovely colors by old school genetic engineering (selective breeding).
These 5 survivors showed the proper instinctive survival skills to make it in our PFHQ predator rich environment.
This pig frog has found the pond and seems to approve. It's probable that he simply hopped up from the real dirt pond located about 100 feet down slope. It has held water intermittently this year and was pretty dry when these pictures were taken earlier in July.
However, he's young and not full size, so he may have tadpoled in this very pond, since I did add a few larger tadpoles months ago.
I think he's beautiful.
I rescued one of these Southern Leopard Frogs from a black racer yesterday, although it was completely by accident. The leopard frogs really like the small plastic ponds around the place and this main garden pond supports 5 or 6 on a good day.
The resident black racers (and owls) are aware of this.
The rescue happened as I whacked some smilax vines around the path to the real pond yesterday morning. Suddenly a beautiful black racer was at my feet with some light-colored thing dangling from his mouth. I stopped, the snake had a moment of indecision, but dropped his prey and scooted under some palmetto fronds.
Then he came back, did a U-turn in search of the dropped prey, Seeing me standing there, he decided that discretion was, indeed, the best part of valor.
In a flash of black, he was gone.
I searched for his previous prey and found a dazed leopard frog sitting upright in the brush.
While I did not mean to ruin the racer's breakfast, it seemed to me that the frog was in the position of the criminal who drops through the gallows door ... only to have the rope break.
He deserves to go free.
So I tried to shoo him away, knowing that the snake would double back and track him down when I left.
Post shooing, I left.
Write your own ending ...
Ahh, poolside in the summer.