Monday, July 14, 2014

Five Year Pond Check Up ... Frogdiggity!

If you go way back to 2009, you can see how this tiny pond in my oak-palm hammock came to be.
(Dear North of the St. Mary's River friends, in Florida, a "hammock" is a shady forest habitat of mostly hardwoods)
Two days ago, Bear, Coquina, and I were taking a walk through the hammock, enjoying its shade and fresh deer smells. As we approached the little pond, I could see 7 leopard frogs sitting on the rim.
The pups spooked them of course, but I came back alone a little while later and some of them were still hanging out.

I always place a stick of some kind in water holes like this, so the skinks, anoles, and other crawlies have a way of exiting when they fall in.
Bums me out to find a drowned lizard in something I created.

This was the lone swimmer.
Lone frog swimmer that is ... A small school of Gambusia minnows patrol the depths gobbling up mosquito eggs and larvae as soon as the mosquitoes deposit them.
I have no mosquitoes at my place and I'm beyond poison spewing mosquito control routes (Thankfully!) ...
I give credit for the lack of mosquitoes in this very wet 2014 summer to the many Gambusia inhabited water features on my 10 acres.
They are ravenous skeeter beaters ... with no harmful side effects.

This frog was "one with the log" and never moved as I moved around to get pics.

I was surprised, but happy to see so many frogs using the tiny hammock watering hole. Surprised, because 40 feet away was the big "real" pond, and happy because, I don't usually catch anybody in the act of using it, although I'm sure it acts as a water source for the deer and other critters that live or cross through PFHQ.

After air, there's really nothing more important than water, and its such a simple thing to add to any landscape. This little pond shell was about 10 bucks in 2009 and needs no pump to do it's job.

(The Gambusia are tough as nails and can survive low oxygen, plus there are just a few in there)... of course, now that I think about it, I have tons of Anacharis in another water feature that I could add to this little pond.
A little shady, but they are great little oxygen producers so it's worth adding a few sprigs.

No telling who might show up if you diversify your place by adding any of the 3 biggies:
1. Food
   2. Shelter
  3. Water

Which reminds me, the brush piles have all rotted away so I need to work on number 2.


robin andrea said...

Nice froggies you have there. We had Gambusia in our pond in Grass Valley. They were excellent at keeping down the mosquito population. We had no mosquitoes at our place, even while our neighbors were being overwhelmed by them there.

Anonymous said...

Love the little froggies. We have cuban tree frogs living in our shutters. We still have a ton of sqeeters.

I wonder what "fresh deer smells" smell like?

R.Powers said...

Hey Robin,
Another Gambusia aficianado! Love those little fish!

Hi Dina,
Not that I could smell it! The deer like that hammock and were just there that morning, so I figure the pups were taking it all in.
Not so my puny human nose.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Very cool use by the leopard frogs! It is so gratifying to find wildlife actually using all these little features we think up. Like the time I put a broken ceramic pot out as a toad house and one day found a toad squatting in it. :) Whoot! I'm doubtless weird, but I smell deer all the time. Especially the manure, but also them. A bit horsey. I smell foxes and coyotes too. My life as a dog.

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