Thursday, 24 March 2011


Last week, Rosie from Corners of my Mind wrote a post called It's Murder on the Pond Side!

As soon as I read the title, I had a good guess as to the subject of her post, because it's happening here too!

The pond is full of this...

Many, many croaking, copulating frogs have endeavoured to produce, and produce they have. The writhing, boiling, churning waters are now filled with huge slimy blobs of egg filled transparent jelly, looking very much like a large vat of anaemic kiwi and lime jam.

The only problem is that, while the frogs are busy copulating, they tend to be somewhat preoccupied and unaware of lurking danger. This failure to take sensible precautions makes them easy prey.

And these guys know it!

Every spring!

They turn up like a pair of hooded Nazgul, settle like silent shadows and watch... and wait... and kill!

Last spring, I found a number of picked-at carcasses lying around the pond and on the path. Twice I saw wriggling frogs being carried away in sharp, clutching claws and twice more saw dead bodies being ripped to shreds by long vicious beaks.

I suppose I'll have to buy a roll of netting!


  1. What a tale of life and death, but it seems to me those birds are helping to keep your burgeoning frog population down. I am, of course, quite envious that you have breeding frogs in your pond (it must be much larger than our small pond, for starters). We've had to 'import' tadpoles from other areas in our own attempt to get a frog population established, but so far, we've not had any success. We have one Raucous toad and one Cape clicking river frog. I wish I could pop over and scoop a handful of yours to boost our miniscule population.

    Your blossom tree looks gorgeous! Spring is definitely there! You appear to have a wonderful garden, H. PLEASE share lots more with us :)

    I've so enjoyed both this and your last post!!!

  2. Your pond looks just like ours - a seething mass of frogs and frog spawn. We found three more dead frogs this morning, 11 lost so far but we counted 25 live ones and I'm sure there are more. We also have newts in the pond so they will be eating the little tadpoles once they appear - it is sad sometimes this cycle of life! I took loads of photos yesterday so may pop some on my blog later:)

  3. Yes, BUT we have lots of lakes, but no ponds. However we have Ascaphus frogs in North America which do copulate. In Europe they can't copulate because they don't have what it takes so they reproduce by fertilizing externally. This is called Amplexus. Good try H! ( At least it rhymes with population, which is the natural outcome anyway, either way....)

  4. But 'croaking, amplexing' frogs isn't alliterative :(

  5. Or is it 'amplexusing'? More like a tongue twister.

  6. "Amplexus" is the Latin noun for "Embrace". The verb "amplecti" to embrace, would suggest the English: " Croaking amplecting frogs" That is illiterate enough isn't it?

  7. Erm... Did you mean to type 'illiterate' or did the spellchecker do a dirty on you?

    It's reasonably alliterative. I'll have to remember this word next time I give a friend a hug.

  8. Illiterate. because I can't spell the other one. What do you have to remember? to illiterate? or to croak? or to amplect?

  9. I can't make myself illiterate, but I'm sure I could croak as I amplect. (It could cause a few odd looks, but who knows I might become a trend setter!)