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Wonderful Nature

wildlife, gardening, environment, Rural living, Pets and Vets
OLTB
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Wonderful Nature

#321722

Postby OLTB » June 26th, 2020, 10:53 am

Morning all

Mrs OLTB wished to have a very small pond in a dead space in the back garden so we bought a very small 3ft by 1 1/2 ft plastic pond from a garden centre about three weeks ago. We filled it with three aquatic plants and some large-ish stones around the outside to cover the plastic pond 'lip' and sprinkled some wild flower seeds around the pond to eventually attract insects.

Lo and behold, Mrs OLTB came running into the house last night as we had a frog lying under some duckweed in the new pond!

It got us thinking how on earth this frog 'sensed' the pond so quickly (or at all) and how it got there - there is no water course near us; there are no other ponds in our neighbours' gardens so we are at a loss.

I just hope that a beady eyed heron doesn't spot it (or our cat).

Cheers, OLTB.

bungeejumper
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Re: Wonderful Nature

#321786

Postby bungeejumper » June 26th, 2020, 12:41 pm

I often wonder about the same thing. We have eight foot stone walls all around our garden, and no pond at all, and still we get frogs turning up in the cooler corners. To get to those places, they must have entered first by the gate, a good 50 yards away, and then hopped their way though this totally unpromising garden until they find a bit of shrubbery where there's absolutely no prospect of a suitable mating site, or even of keeping their skins wet. ;)

Well, that's the way it seems to us. For a frog it looks a bit different, because we do have a couple of underwater (whoops, underground) springs that keep the deep soil mildly damp. There are slugs and worms galore, and that seems to be why they don't mind a complete absence of "surface" water. They'll hang around for a while and then move on. But how do they find us?

I've read somewhere that frogs can smell water from a great distance. But that they can't climb a stone wall (except for tree frogs with sticky feet, obviously). So what on earth makes them choose us? We're awfully glad that they do. :D

[Edit] Yes, our cat used to play with the frogs, although she never hurt them. She would pick them up gently in her mouth and transport them to some other part of the garden, and then let them go. The frogs would protest loudly, with a call that was unnervingly like a crying baby. :(

BJ

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Wonderful Nature

#321980

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 27th, 2020, 10:09 am

Wild guess here.

Stagnant water puts out characteristic humidity signature. Insects and vegetation follow, creating the signature of a nice place for a frog. All helped by a healthy mix of summer weather.

And a stone wall is unlikely to be a barrier to a frog, any more than it is to a small rodent - or a common-or-garden bug.

Nimrod103
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Re: Wonderful Nature

#321983

Postby Nimrod103 » June 27th, 2020, 10:16 am

Maybe an old wive's tale, but I understood a cat only tries to eat a frog once. It is so disgusting they never eat them again.

Gengulphus
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Re: Wonderful Nature

#321985

Postby Gengulphus » June 27th, 2020, 10:17 am

bungeejumper wrote:[Edit] Yes, our cat used to play with the frogs, although she never hurt them. She would pick them up gently in her mouth and transport them to some other part of the garden, and then let them go. The frogs would protest loudly, with a call that was unnervingly like a crying baby. :(

Makes me wonder whether she was somehow mistaking them for kittens!

Gengulphus

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Wonderful Nature

#322000

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 27th, 2020, 11:02 am

Gengulphus wrote:
bungeejumper wrote:[Edit] Yes, our cat used to play with the frogs, although she never hurt them. She would pick them up gently in her mouth and transport them to some other part of the garden, and then let them go. The frogs would protest loudly, with a call that was unnervingly like a crying baby. :(

Makes me wonder whether she was somehow mistaking them for kittens!

Gengulphus

Mistaking might be a bit of a ... ummm ... mistaken interpretation here.

When we pick up (or indeed just pet) an animal, we're not exactly mistaking it for a human baby. We're exercising some social element in our basic nature, that may be associated with care for infants, but extends a long way beyond just that.

As for the frog protesting - well, there aren't many circumstances where an adult human, cat, or anything else is happy to be picked up by an animal of its own - let alone a completely different - species!

madhatter
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Re: Wonderful Nature

#322053

Postby madhatter » June 27th, 2020, 1:44 pm

I was walking along a path yesterday with long uncut grass and weeds each side, and realised that there was a tiny frog on the path, and on closer inspection I quickly saw several more. Each with a body about the size of my little fingernail.

The nearest stagnant pond I know of, indeed the only one nearby according to Google maps or OS maps is about 100 yards away.

OLTB
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Re: Wonderful Nature

#322283

Postby OLTB » June 28th, 2020, 1:42 pm

Thanks all - your replies got me thinking that a neighbour a few houses away seems to like a wild/natural look to his back garden and there is a lot of long grass along with wild (some may say overgrown) borders as well, so perhaps that habitat is nice and damp for the amphibians and where this solitary frog may have ventured from.

No screaming heard from the frog so far.

Cheers, OLTB.

jackdaww
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Re: Wonderful Nature

#322300

Postby jackdaww » June 28th, 2020, 2:45 pm

madhatter wrote:I was walking along a path yesterday with long uncut grass and weeds each side, and realised that there was a tiny frog on the path, and on closer inspection I quickly saw several more. Each with a body about the size of my little fingernail.

The nearest stagnant pond I know of, indeed the only one nearby according to Google maps or OS maps is about 100 yards away.


=========================

a new frog (froglet) is of course the same size as the tadpole from which it came - so maximum 1/4 inch.

:)

monabri
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Re: Wonderful Nature

#322303

Postby monabri » June 28th, 2020, 3:00 pm

OLTB wrote:
Lo and behold, Mrs OLTB came running into the house last night as we had a frog lying under some duckweed in the new pond!

I just hope that a beady eyed heron doesn't spot it (or our cat).

Cheers, OLTB.


Turn over a broken flower pot or similar to provide it with a shelter.


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