Monday, August 01, 2011

Factory Fish, Fake Ponds, REAL Frogs

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.


Sunscreen

14 comments:

Thunder Dave said...

My favorite is the picture of the frog sitting pool side, he just needs a little drink with an umbrella in it in his little forlimb! ;-)

ImagineMel said...

YAY!

threecollie said...

We tired koi too. They always jumped out so we went with the little comets as well. They get really big if they are really lucky.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Lucky frogs at your place. I have had those 25cent goldfish in my water feature before but the racoons soon find them. Boooooo They $5.

Dani said...

We've got a few koi in our pond. It's only a matter of time though before the herons find them.

robin andrea said...

Roger read this post and said, "We should get some goldfish for the pond." I don't know. Should we? It snows here, and parts of the pond freezes. We did have goldfish in our little fake pond in Port Townsend. It froze there too, and the fish survived. It just seems a bit harsher here.

Love that pic of the frog sitting poolside. Just hanging out waiting for something fun to happen.

kevin said...

Good for the frog, but you do know if the rope breaks, they get another rope.

Floridacracker said...

Dave,
Amphibians are TeeToadlers.

Mel,
Congrats on your renewal!


ThreeCollie,
They really do get a nice size and the orange is so ORANGE.


Lisa,
I hear ya, the raccoons are very efficient in a small space like a garden pond.



Dani,
Can your clever husband rig up a safe room for them? He seems very good at building and making things.


Robin,
They are temperate, not tropical so I bet they would do just fine.


Kevin,
What kind of Westerns are you watching?
LOL! See you at the reunion.

Ol' Lurker said...

"Personable fish?" I don't know FC. I"ll have to think about that one.

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

I had goldfish in my pond. My niece named the first two Lucy and Ethyl. We went to Petsmart and got Ricky, Fred and Little Ricky. They got really, really big! Had little goldfish after a while. They are very friendly. They used to eat from your hand!

Patio

Floridacracker said...

Ol Lurker,
I wish you could see the striped burrfish baby I left behind at my old school.
He looks like a two inch long fish version of groucho marx and has all the summer staff smitten with his puppydog like antics.
They all take turns feeding him and the new science teacher in that room has made it clear that he is her baby.
Yes, personable!


Patio,
Exactly! Somebody is a Lucy fan.

Sayre said...

We have a little frog in our garage I call "Prince". He started out the size of my thumbnail and grew. I guess he likes the cool of the garage because he's always in there. We try to remember so we won't step on him when we go out there.

I used to be afraid of frogs. Now I think they are beautiful and I love having them around. I don't remember when or why that changed, but I'm glad it did.

lisa said...

I really enjoy having a pond and I want one of your frogs ;)

Miz S said...

...later on that day he met a beautiful lady frog. They made passionate froggy love and lived happily ever after.