Friday, 27 March 2009

YAY for pondlife!

I love my pond, every morning I pop outside to see how the tadpoles are getting on - quite often while still in my dressing gown, so it's a good thing we have high fences!

They've mostly hatched now, but are still in the safety of the spawn mass. There are some fallen leaves in the water, so many are clustering in the shallow warmer water on the leaf surfaces.

Last year, when they got braver and moved into the shallow water at the shelving edge of the pond, where the water is warmer, a lot of them were picked off by the blackbirds :-(

The water boatmen took a lot too -so I spent many a happy hour getting in nature's way, scooping ot water boatmen and chucking them over the fence! They soon came back though.

Big excitement this morning - saw the first newt in our pond! I love newts even more than tadpoles, so I won't mind the newt picking off a few for lunch.

In our previous garden I spent hours watching newts do their courtship dance - it's really cute. they bend their tails back parallel to their bodies and wiggle it about - very sexy, if you're a lady newt. They develop beautiful orange chests too.

And then it's egg laying time. Unlike frogs, newt eggs are laid individually. The mummy newt grasps a pond leaf in her back legs, lays an egg and carefully wraps each egg in a leaf - so sweet! I'm looking forward to newt taddies - they develop front legs first, the other way around from frog taddies.

I'll stop now - sorry, I got carried away. Every now and then I miss teaching so much I can't help myself from presenting a lesson!


louise35flower said...

Fantastic photos nifty! Glad to hear all the little uns are doing well! Look forward to the next lesson, I don't mind a bit!
louise x

Sue said...

Loved seeing the pics of the little tads! Also really enjoyed reading about the newt's courtship
dance, I think it would be funny to see.

Kristen said...

teach away! how fun to come & read your blog - I love to learn something new everyday!

RWillisGlassArtist said...

Interesting, Nifty!! I have much to learn about our pond. It is very, very small and is covered by shade most of the time. I have no clue how to really take care of it. I want to put in some shade plants, but I read somewhere that the water needs to be balanced. ? Too much algae right now. Is it safe for the frogs to put any algae chemicals in? My tadpoles look different than yours. I've got a few pictures on my flickr site that I'll have to share with you. :) Like you, I am a big fan of nature.

Jane Carlstrom said...

What an enjoyable lesson. Thanks teach!

TeresaM said...

Your pond pictures are great! I love seeing the tadpoles and will enjoy watching them grow. Our weather is still cold so the frogs are not out and about yet! I think I heard the Spring peepers one evening last week and then it got cold again! Look forward every Spring for the sounds of them!!!

Waterrose said...

Great story. ANd very cool to see it all documented with photos. We have Geckos and I love watching them as well. Can't say that I've see the mating habit though.

Linden said...

Lovely photographs! It's many years since I had a pond and I used to love watching the tadpoles as they developed; even from day to day it felt like you could really see a difference.

Waterrose, we once "pet sat" a leopard gecko for a friend, he was such a beautiful creature!

Lyn said...

Funny that, only this morning we were doing the life cycle of a frog in Literacy!
They breathe through their skin!!

Anonymous said...

Great photo Heather, that is a lot of frogs!!! I can't wait for spring to get here, but soon!

Zoe said...

WOW I love you pond its amazing I am looking forward to seeing the wildlife throughout summer do keep us updated.

Midnightcoiler said...

Love this Nifty! Great little taddies and wonderful to have a newt! It's amazing the life that springs up in and around a pond.