It’s been an eventful fortnight down by the pond, and not all of the news is good.
First there was the bandicoot problem. You’ve heard of bandicoots? Well they are not sweet little nocturnal creatures that snuffle and squeak and play in the garden at night, they are rotten little bastards that sneak in under cover of darkness, dig holes in your landscaping, pull out plants and throw mulch everywhere. I’ve had to erect a “bandicoot barrier” which is not exactly the look I was after.
Then there was the algal growth caused by sunlight … I’ve had to install a shade sail to cover the pond until the tree-ferns grow big enough to take over. Again, not exactly the look I was after.
Then there was the death (my fault) of twelve goldfish! I was enthusiastically watering the surrounds of the pond with tapwater, and it seems that goldfish are more fragile than you would think and die at the mere whiff of chlorine. Strangely, three goldfish have survived, although they may still die of cardiac arrest as the result of my tame kookaburra taking regular “dive-bomb” baths, causing panic and minor tidal waves.
On the upside – two more frogs have arrived. The Eastern Dwarf Tree frog is smaller than the first joint of your little finger but sounds like a large ratchet. And the evasive little Smooth Toadlet, called smooth because it is less warty than other toadlets, it makes a squelching sound. There have also been several blue tailed damsel flies swooping and landing on the pond edges.
All good news …
Another frog has answered the call and made it across the parched paddock to my pond. Somehow I doubt that there will be many more until we have some rain … the town that floods regularly is having a “drought”. We’ve had no proper rain since the beginning of July.
Dare I wish for rain ???
Well, as the saying goes … “If you build it, they will come”
And last night the first frog arrived to check out the new pond – barely five weeks after I finished landscaping the edges. It’s my second favourite frog – the red-eyed green tree frog. I was aware that there was a colony nearby as their calls could be heard in the distance after rain … but I’m amazed they made it uphill and across an open paddock in such a short time.
How did they know ?????
Sadly, my favourite frog sounds website has been taken down, but I here is a link to a You Tube posting which will tell you why it’s also known as the “raucous tree-frog“. It looks like I might be in for a noisy summer !!
Just in time for the spring breeding season I have my long awaited frog pond !!
When I built a pond in the garden of my last house in the middle of Bellingen, it took only a matter of weeks before the frogs moved in. There were frogs in the bamboo, frogs on banana leaves and frogs on rocks. On many humid, rainy summer nights the only way to get a good night’s sleep was to resort to earplugs!
As mad as it may seem, I am hoping for a repeat performance at my new house. When I landscaped the entrance I added a small ornamental pond, more for looks than with a frog habitat in mind. But it wasn’t long before a dwarf tree frog and a marsh frog tookup residence, so I have high expectations now that my new (and rather large) pond has been built.
I won’t bore you with all the technical details, you can read them on the attached pdf if you are interested. All the heavy work and engineering was done by Rick who flew in from Singapore to do the job, and the planting and the pebble placement was done by me … standby for news of a frog invasion !!