The will to survive ruined my post

Sometimes I have little hope of turning certain garden activities into a post. They're either too small of tasks, something I've posted about before, or just not very interesting. I had one of those this weekend when I removed the netting from over the pond.


I expected this to be one of those boring tasks, so I didn't bother having my camera with me. As I peeled back the netting, lifting the submerged parts out of the water and moving from back to front (toward the lawn), something exciting happened, something that made this ho-hum activity immediately post-worthy...


***


You see, as I got the netting folded back on itself some wild splashing startled me and I looked down and saw...


...a huge bullfrog! Don't try to see it in the photo above though, because it's not there.

After a moment of shock in seeing this frog that was as big as my hand, I ran into the house to get the camera and to tell my wife and visiting mother-in-law to come see the giant frog.

When I got back out there the frog was still trapped in the netting, but my reappearance motivated it to thrash about a bit more and it either found a hole in the mesh or made one itself, plunged into the water and disappeared.

I know that smaller leopard frogs have been living in the pond, but I had never seen a bullfrog here before. The fact that it was on top of the net probably proves that it was a new arrival, which is exciting! (I guess this means that frogs regularly hop around the woods and yards, looking for new places to live. I'd like to see that sometime!)

I spent the rest of the afternoon checking back on the pond to try and see this large amphibian again, but no luck.


I did get the rest of the netting off, and pulled a lot more of the water plants out.

Even with the netting enough leaves got into the water to brown it up. Those tannins will take a while to break down, but don't seem to cause any problems for the fish -- at least they didn't last year when even more leaves got in there.


The pond is so much prettier with fewer surface plants, isn't it? I'll have to work harder to keep more of the area clear next summer.

So although I'm excited about this new addition to the best part of my garden (the pond), I'm wondering if it's a good thing. Bullfrogs eat fish, right?

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Teri  – (November 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM)  

Bullfrogs eat ANYTHING they can get down their throats. But mostly they eat bugs.

Lisa  – (November 19, 2013 at 7:54 PM)  

Bullfrogs are VORACIOUS eaters and supreme hunters. We had two this year in our pond who, between them, caught and killed a dozen small birds. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't watched one snatch a bird right out of the air in front of my eyes. They stalk their prey like a cat - it's pretty cool to see. I wasn't opposed to them catching the birds - I only wish they had eaten them instead of spitting them back out. We know they did successfully swallow a few - there's no mistaking a frog with a bird in his belly - but most of them must have been too big. Eventually they moved on to the hummingbird moths - they would eat those like candy. I don't think we lost any fish though - unless they ate fry that we didn't know we had!

I was out at the pond on Sunday and as I walked past - splash! Big old frog was sunning himself on a rock and jumped back in when I walked by. We were sure we had seen the last of them for the year!

Alan  – (November 19, 2013 at 8:31 PM)  

Lisa: How big is your pond? Mine is about 13' diameter, somewhere around 800 gallons I think.

scottweberpdx  – (November 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM)  

That's awesome! I'd be happy to have a tiny little toad in my own garden, much less a bullfrog!

Lisa  – (November 19, 2013 at 9:14 PM)  

Ours is 17 feet long, 14 feet wide and about 3.5 feet deep. We estimate the whole system - bog, pond, rain exchange - at 4500 gallons.

Alan  – (November 19, 2013 at 9:59 PM)  

Scott: you really need some water in that garden. They'll find even a stock tank -- don't worry about access, they'll get in!

danger garden  – (November 19, 2013 at 11:49 PM)  

How fabulous! I grew up on a very dry 3 acres in Eastern Washington, there was barely enough water for us let alone wildlife or a garden. Still we had bullfrogs, huge ones. They were kinda like the playground bully. We still loved them.

As for your comment to Scott it's several years in and no no froggies have found our stock tank...

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