Build it and they will come

by - 3:10 PM

Rana Clamitans Melanota enjoying his new place

That small project spawned a little diy goldfish pond project which then spawned a larger and more back-breaking diy patio and water-fall project.  Looking back on that rock-moving and dirt-dumping  that we did it seemed like and endless task but in the end those projects added greatly to our tiny house giving us an extra place to hang during nice weather.

The project that started it all

Mid-way through a patio starts to emerge
The patio has the lived-in look now with the 
addition of the frogs, who needs those citronella 
torches when we have frogs to eat the mosquitos!
So, after losing three fish over a particularly hot few days this summer I thought about adding one or two more until one day I heard a “plop” signifying the arrival of an unexpected new member to the pond as I peered in to look at the remaining two fish.  I mentioned it to the kids to go check it out and the next day one them mentioned that there were three out there. 

“Wow!” we exclaimed, and "how cool, let’s go look" I said excitedly only to go out and find not three but now six frogs were now enjoying our work! 

It’s funny to think that we had this little frog party starting in our waterfall area without us knowing it while we had been noticing that there were some frogs jumping out of the larger puddle that fills our dirt road on our dead-end street.  There isn't much traffic and so the frogs will sit in it and jump out when cars approach and then jump back in when the cars are gone.  Our front porch faces this makeshift “pond” and we had been checking this out before we knew about our own inhabitation of frogs.

This find prompted us to wonder how they even came to find us, this large puddle that was an empty hole for the first few hot months and then our pond, we don’t know which was first.   We’ve had a pond for some time now and are relatively far away from any standing water besides the large puddle in the middle of the road.  How does one go from a pond without a single frog to now one with several?

Who put the word out we wondered?

Who was singing the praises of our cool, clean water, the soft trickle of the waterfall, an abundance of bugs, oooh those slugs eating my hosta! 

Is this the guy looking for
friends? or is it the floppy one?
(Above) waterfall detail.
The frogs in our pond are Northern Green Frogs or Rana Clamitans Melanota you can tell these from bullfrogs by their dorsolateral ridge that runs straight down the back rather than curving shortly off to the the left and right  in the bullfrog.  With a little research I found that although these frogs stay pretty close within their home range they may travel for food or if their habitat has been disturbed.

Or, was it him?  He is royalty after all!
It is also usual for younger frogs to travel when it rains or if it is wet enough for their comfort in order to reduce the competition in other ponds since they can be very territorial.  So, since these guys look relatively small one wonders if they increased their range during the recent rains we've had by hopping from one area to another, utilizing puddles to look for food or just find some new digs to call their own. 

On one recent day while checking to see how the new visitors were doing I found one small guy with a half swallowed slug in its mouth so it seems for now that they have plenty of food, the water is fine and they might be staying for a while!

Hanging out waiting or bugs
Here's a good look at one of the little guys, (in this case here is a female, notice the round circle to the left of her eye - this is called the tympanum and is the frogs ear drum.  The tympanum is smaller than her actual eye, in males they are much bigger.  This is a way to tell males from females in the Norther Green Frog and Bullfrogs, I learned that here at this beautiful blog.

Watch out little green frog, the turtle might get you!

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  1. Your patio is gorgeous. All the hard work definitely paid off. Cute, cute frog living in your pond! (Thank you for linking to my frog post!)