The Daily Bucket–Small battlegrounds
For six years, tadpoles have morphed into tiny chorus frogs in my backyard ponds. But once they’ve turned into frogs I seldom see them again.
For the first few days into July, I find them near their birth ponds. Their default move is to hop back into the water for a week or so.
Then they find new territory. In the weeds. Between the stones. Anywhere they can sit and wait for small bugs.
Some of our young frogs spread out into our vegetable garden and eat tiny bugs. We find them in the potato sacks. Or under the squash.
At night, I glimpse older larger frogs on the move, sometimes gripping onto the house’s siding.
When we harvest our garden’s plants, the little frogs hop into the next planting bed. We’ve cleared most of the beds by now. I don’t know where the frogs are hunkering down.
Some stake a claim under the grapes, where the fruit flies swarm.
Other frogs prefer to hide out in the Lamb’s Ear, where I toss rotting fruit. The flies eat the fruit, and the pollinators and frogs eat the flies.
A couple of frogs set up an elevated home in the Artichokes. I assume they prey on aphids.
And some frogs hid out in the Arugula (frog not pictured).
We leave the arugula alone all year. The bees and wasps and other small flies and spiders come to its yellow flowers. It’s only a couple of cubic feet but it’s buzzing with activity.
I feed arugula to the tadpoles in the Springtime. After the tadpoles morph, some of the newly minted frogs seek shelter under the arugula and eat fruit flies, completing a small cycle of life.
A whole field of arugula or similar bushy flowering plant with understories would harbor millions of small creatures.
It’s the last thing flowering in our garden this year.
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