On February 3, 2020, several chorus frogs assembled around my back yard ponds and began singing, successfully, for mates. I dug out these ponds six years ago and frogs began breeding in them immediately. The frog’s numbers have increased every year for the last six years.
A few outlier chorus frogs often appear each year in February, but this year there’s a dozen frogs in early February, despite last month’s frosts. They are already breeding.
Most importantly, I can see a fertilized egg sac bobbing in the water, attached to a lily stem. Local colonies of chorus frogs and their eggs can tolerate a wide range of water and air temperatures. More frogs are apparently taking advantage of extra mating time compared to other years. Last year I found eggs in frozen water, that still hatched.
I wonder if they will morph a month sooner, since they were begotten a month early? Usually the big morph is Bastille Day but that’s five months away.
The frogs traditionally start festivities in the southwest (upper right hand) corner of this pond, with easy in/out water access. That’s where I found the eggs today. It is the youngest of four ponds, with no fish. Fallen maple leaves, wapato, lilies, irises and a cattail choke a 3 X 5 foot pond, 1.5 feet deep.
The frogs exploit the heavy vegetation to remain partly suspended in the water for easy mating. Afterwards the females dive down and attached the egg sacs to stems.
This is one of two connected ponds containing a few hundred gallons of rain water.
This 500 square foot area has grasses and low plantings in addition to various depths of ponded water, and an adjacent edible garden
I hope that the little birds bathing in these ponds do not eat my tadpoles. Sometimes a thousand or more tadpoles hatch.
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