Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2012: Pond created for animal habitat.

At the very end of June, we dug a small pond in front of the house.  The day we finished digging and placing the pond liner, a huge storm came through and filled it with rain water.   In a matter of days, dragonflies, butterflies and a frog were seen around the pond!  In less than a week we found about 200 frog eggs suspended in the water.  Less than a week after that, we discovered the tiny tadpoles swimming around.  Within a month of the digging, we have counted four species of frogs and have seen at least three distinct sets of eggs.

Pond, freshly dug.

We gathered about 75 stones from the surrounding land
to anchor the pond liner, as well as provide ledges and small hiding places on land and in the water.

We added some plants from a pond about a half mile away.  
These provide places for animals to hide, lay eggs, etc.

The insects started coming almost immediately.
Dragonflies were seen first, diving to drink the water.  
Their larvae were seen a few weeks later along the water bottom.  The larvae eat mosquito larvae that end up in the water.  (Photo by Denali DeGraf)

 Red Spotted Purple Butterfly

 Black Swallowtail Butterfly

 Bumblebee (Photo by Denali DeGraf)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Less than a week after digging, we saw this Green Frog hanging around.
(Hiding in those plants mentioned above.)

Soon thereafter.....
We found about 200 frog eggs in the water.

 Less than two weeks after digging, we had tadpoles!

The tadpoles ate and quickly grew.

And then we started seeing other species.
 Pickerel Frog

Gray Tree Frog (these guys are LOUD!)

 Wood Frog

Eastern American Toad

 A juvenile Green Frog

Green Frog
(This was the first frog we sighted, and we think is the mama of the 200 tadpoles.)

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