As the freeze continues…

The snow has melted on my New Pond - so will oxygen levels start to recover: I'll be checking later today.

As the freeze continues, I’ll be updating daily with news items and advice

Later today I’ll be reporting back on dissolved oxygen levels here in the garden.

As you can see from the picture, our very thin cover of snow has now melted, though the ice is still thick.

Will this affect the oxygen levels? I’m predicting they will have gone back up a bit: actually I was hoping for another day of the light being blocked out before I cleared the snow myself to see the response.

Still, I’ve got a natural experiment instead: though, of course, more technically minded readers will spot that an ‘experiment’ cannot involve just one place – so let’s simply call these measurements ‘observations’.

And a salutary tale from commenter MrNatural (lower down, on the right of the page)

MrNatural saw an apparently immobile frog beneath the ice in a tub in his garden where there had been mortalities last year. Cursing himself for not thinking about it sooner he rescued the frog – assuming it was an ex-frog. But to his surprise, it came back to life.

This is the first time I’ve heard of this in this country – though I expect my amphibian colleagues will have come across it before. So at this fairly early stage in the freeze, if you see frogs under the ice and they weren’t there recently, there’s a chance they may have moved in the search for oxygen. Frogs don’t hibernate in the sense of becoming completely inactive – they can move around under water to find the right temperature/oxygen conditions.

I wonder whether Nora’s pictures from a few days ago were dead frogs or simply resting! I’ll have to check when she’s next in our office.

And finally...

If you’re finding the advice useful, and want to help even further you could:

– think of joining up as a Pond Conservation supporter!

– buying one of our ethical Give and Let Live gifts for Christmas – helping us to dig new top quality ponds for wildlife. Every pound you spend on a gift will allow us to match it with another nine. The average cost of digging a pond in the Million Ponds Project is just £550 – it’s very cheap – so each £50 pounds donated to the digging fund allows us to cover the cost of another top quality new pond. And we’re not talking about little tiny ponds either – £500 gets us typically a 500 – 1000 square metre pond.


2 Responses to “As the freeze continues…”

  1. jonspond Says:

    Hi Jeremy
    That is the first time I have heard this happening in the UK. I had a project this year where newts had fell into pitfalls which were filled with polluted ground water – we suspect very little oxygen and the animals had been collected as dead animals but a good few minutes later they had recovered and came back to life

    PS nice to see you on twitter btw

  2. Jeremy Biggs Says:

    Thanks Jon – for both the info and the PS.


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