I had to clean out the frog pond this evening. It must have been turning toxic. I found a couple of dead tadpoles and most of the fish dead. I was shocked at the amount of crap that was at the bottom. I think birds have been dropping half-eaten rotting apricots from the roof. It was impossible to see through the water because of the algal bloom that made it an opaque pea soup. I scooped out all the tadpoles and the one remaining live fish and transferred them to a bucket of clean water I have had standing by ageing and dechlorinating in readiness for such an occasion. I rinsed the weed ready to replace it, then cleaned out the pond thoroughly before refilling it, adding instant ager. Next I replaced the pond plants and floating pond weed, and put back the filter pump and the bricks that support the hollow log. I arranged the bricks, plants and log to ensure the tadpoles had somewhere to hide in the clean water then let the pump aerate it a bit while the thiosulphate ate up the chlorine and chloramines. At last I counted the tadpoles back into the pond. Fifteen left. Well over a half of them have been eaten or have died. Since I only tossed a couple of deaduns, I must assume that at least twenty or more have been eaten. None that remain are as big as Ovid was, though three of them are about half his size or more. A few other larger ones have disappeared. I have some misgivings that any of them will survive.
This evening the first and only frog to appear was Eric. I wanted a better photo of him to verify his identification, but he is not cooperating. All the time I was there he accepted my presence calmly, but the minute I went for the camera he disappeared. He is not patterned like Gollum, being a smooth olive green with no spots, but I think he may be a motorbike frog nonetheless. I see in my book that there are variations in the species from continuous colour to spots. I need to get a better photo of Fluffy too. I am convinced he is of a different species because his tympanum appears to be a different shape. I have not spotted a pic of a frog like him, or her, and wonder if she is a juvenile, perhaps a Banjo Frog.
It is an absorbing subject.
But “Enough of frogs!” I hear you cry. “Get a life!”