Monday, July 18, 2011

Accidental herpetoculturist*

According to my 8-year old and - it takes anywhere from 6 – 12 weeks for tadpoles to fully develop into 4-legged, rippit-ing frogs. Which means somewhere between mid-August and late September, my backyard will turn into our own frog zoo.

I did not intend to cultivate 100’s of tadpoles in my backyard. Nor was I prepared for the aquatic jungle which is developing. My intention was to clean out my garden.

Several years ago, my husband spent a couple weeks clearing trees and the yard and laid out a pretty, relaxing, sitting garden. There are Japanese maples and spruce trees, a wooden bench, a bird-feeder and a pond. Although we selected features which were supposed to be low maintenance, as it turns out, its not exactly maintenance-free. Earlier this summer, I spent days shoveling out the leaves, scooping out the muck, shooing away the mosquitoes, weeding the uninvited plants, and mulching the garden space. I filled the pond with fresh water and a few plants from Johnson’s Garden supplies. With a couple new teak chairs and a small table just large enough for a glass of sweet tea, my sitting space was renewed for the summer.

Then one day, I noticed some little black things floating along in the water. Tadpoles! How did they get in there? I’ve only seen one frog and he (she?) was covered in muck, scooped out while I was cleaning the pond and eventually hopped away. Apparently, frogs leave their babies in what seems a safe environment and go on about their lives. At the same time, the 4 leafy floaters that I started with have also bloomed and grown, occasionally shooting up a pretty purple flower, and covered the pond surface.

On the one hand, the prospect of a yard full of frogs is making me a bit nervous. On the other, I’m pretty proud of myself for having a thriving garden, seeing as I recently had to throw out a cactus that couldn’t survive my not-green thumb.

I’m hoping these tadpoles will turn into some pretty colored tree frogs (but not the poisonous kind) rather than big fat bullfrogs. And I hope they don't knock over my sweet tea.

*one who keeps reptiles or amphibians for the purpose of breeding

1 comment:

mathbelle said...

Accident or no accident, I'm officially not visiting you until the winter! I'm already quivering....