Froggiemergency

Emergency lawnmowing (mind you, is there any other kind?)

Emergency lawnmowing (mind you, is there any other kind?)

I’m never one to choose a gardening job before some other (unless it’s to do with the pond).

So last night’s lawn mowing had nothing to do with keeping up appearances and everything to do with an impending frog emergency.

The reason – baby frogs are imminent.

Katy and I found at least 3 fully formed baby frogs yesterday; so-called ‘metamorphs’ – because they have metamorphosed from their aquatic form to begin their land-based lives.

They are of course utterly cute – but more seriously last year we had a real panic at emergence time when the baby frogs came out and headed for the long grass – which meant the whole of the lawn!

Because once they were out there, and lurking in that long grass (their favoured spot) that was the end of lawn mowing, unless we wanted a large supply of frog mince.

And the other thing I will be much more careful of this year is any buckets of water: young frogs are very good at climbing into buckets of water but they are very bad at climbing out again.

Last year quite a few drowned in our experimental buckets. This year I will make sure I keep them out.

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7 Responses to “Froggiemergency”

  1. Clive Palmer Says:

    Last year as a way to do my part for global warming, I only mowed half my lawns, leaving about quarter acre to grow wild. Late September I decided to tidy up the unmown grass and just as I was about to start I noticed a tiny black frog, upon further investigation I found the whole area to be inundated with tiny frogs. what a lovely feeling to think that my effort had provided a home for, perhaps hundreds of frogs. This year a larger area will be left unmown.

    • Jeremy Biggs Says:

      Hi Clive

      That sounds brilliant – do you have any pics of the unmown area? I think they’d be interesting to show people. It doesn’t seem possible for readers to post pics to the blog at present, but if you sent me something I’d love to put it up. Jeremy

  2. Suzan St Maur Says:

    We’ve seen a couple of baby frogs on the terrace beside our tiny (think double the size of a large bathtub) human-made pond in the last few days … and have had to rescue them from our cats.

    Every year we get a large frog population in the little pond and a few newts. However this year, along with the frogs we seem to have had an explosion in the newt population – at one stage last month I counted over 20 adults that I could see near the surface at one time, and I have to assume there are many more lurking at lower depths.

    Is this normal, or is 2009 a bumper year for newts? I haven’t changed anything in the pond other than to drop in barley straw nets to clear algae, plus some watercress along with other oxygenating plants.

    • Jeremy Biggs Says:

      Dear Suzan – I don’t know if this is a bumper year or not. Newts like plenty of cover so maybe the extra plants under the water have helped. Just yesterday I was looking at a garden pond in Exeter that was absolutely full of the plant rigid hornwort, and with a couple of sieve scoops in an area no more than 30 x 50 cm we found about 10 palmate newts.

      If you had any pics of the pond it might be interesting to put them up on the blog (you can send them to me to do this). And you might like to do the Big Pond Dip survey too.

      Jeremy

  3. paula darcy Says:

    Help.. I have just built a med sized pond next to our tiny pre-formed cracked one. i filled it put oxygenating weed into it but it has still turned green. the tiny one is crystal clear with many taddies & frogs at various stages of developement.what should I be doing ?

    • Jeremy Biggs Says:

      Hi Paula

      What sort of water did you fill the new pond with?

      How long is it since it was filled?

      And do you have a photo of the two ponds you could send me (you can send them to jbiggs@pondconservation.org.uk).

      I’ll have a go at a diagnosis then. Though I don’t promise to know the answer!

      Jeremy

  4. Paula D`Arcy Says:

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks for replying. Yep..it was “tap” water should`v known better, but the

    penny only dropped after I read your mail! My solution (comments

    welcome) has been to pump out all of the water,(veg & flowers to benefit)

    clean it then allow it to re-fill with rain water

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