For the fifth year in a row, the tiny native Chorus Frogs have returned with the Winter Solstice moon, to breed in my back yard ponds. The new generation of frogs were born as egg sacs on the Equinox moon. And now, they are morphing from tadpoles into full-pledged, if tiny, Chorus Frogs, on the Summer Solstice Moon.
I am especially joyous at these many frogs, because now I can claim success for renovating this pond. This older, larger pond once had dozens of chorus frogs, but the hungry goldfish and bullfrogs wiped out most of the tinier chorus frogs. I hoped that removing the fish would allow the chorus frogs to successfully re-colonize this larger, now-non-fishless pond.
I enjoyed wild success with the renovated pond, with several frog couples producing about 1000 eggs, followed by tadpoles, and now I have the cutest frogs in the County.
I had to drain the pond to repair it, and that included moving out 70 fish up to 7 inches long, into a neighboring pond.
This early Spring, an energetic Chorus Frog Lek (think singles’ bar) swiftly assembled in the Modified Lily Pond. Between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox, the females watched from nearby, as young frogs squatted on pond’s edge and croaked more compellingly than a blues riff in a roadside bar. For the first time in ten years, Chorus frogs rocked the Lily Pond.
One bold fellow staked out the Rain Lily in the geographic center of the Pond. He slowly turned, a few degrees a minute, like a sticking second hand, scoping out the entire pond every hour or so. He ribbeted loud enough to make a possum dance. Every morning I could find more egg sacs in the Rain Lily. The female frogs approved of him.
Coons, herons, and pooties preyed. They tossed the plastic pump hose about, almost braining the rain lily frog, but he remained on duty.
On or about the Vernal Equinox Moon, the tadpoles burst from their egg sacs and basked in freedom.
And now, as the Summer Solstice approaches, the tadpoles morph; shedding their tails, growing legs, and developing internal organs. They will mature under the Summer Solstice Moon.
Now it’s your turn.
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a nature refuge.
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What have you noted in your area or travels? Any frog peepers in your yard? Please post your observations and general location in your comments. I’ll check back by lunchtime.