A FROG FOR
THE KOI POND?
By Carolyn Weise
As the season unfolds, so do
the natural things in and around my pond. It is already a
“Nature Preserve” in miniature, so by July we don’t want to
venture out into the night for the size of spiders and their
intricate webs. The webs cover walkways, grasses, water
plants…. basically everything….. but only at night.
In the morning, these webs either deteriorate by themselves, or
the spiders, I swear, reel them back in. I cannot dig anywhere
in the yard without disturbing at least three active worms.
These alien worms are much more active than our native
earthworms, but still seem to do the job of enriching and
aerating the soil, as I would hope. I am convinced that my yard
has fewer mosquitoes than any other on my block, but the slugs
and earwigs have found a safe haven here. My plantings of hosta
varieties “host” the slugs as do the dishes of cat food I keep
outside for neighboring felines, and the September-blooming
sweet clematis is a ready-made home for earwigs.
So what’s missing?? A frog you
say? Not anymore! I got a call from an MAKC friend yesterday to
say she caught one very big frog and it is calling,
“Caaaaarrroll” and it’s sitting in a 5-lb. bucket just waiting
for a new home. A few days before she had emailed me asking if
I would like a pair of frogs, but I thought surely she isn’t
going to catch those frogs!
There are pros and cons about
having frogs in your koi pond. Some believe (and probably
rightly so) that they carry parasites and bacteria which can
infect our koi. Others believe they are worth their weight in
gold for the slugs and other insects they keep under control
around the pond. But when considering frogs, I opted for
the danger of having one versus the prospect of a repeat
performance of slugs eating away at my beautiful hostas this
year. I saw my friend’s pond and her koi didn’t look ill or
infected and that frog (and its sister or brother) has been
living in there for the past year or so.
I took the frog home.
But frogs can really jump! So
to keep it in the bucket, she had her net over the top with
bricks around the sides to keep it taut. She didn’t want me to
take the bucket and net home with me, so I had brought a bucket
of my own, 5-lb. just like hers. I couldn’t find a thing to
cover the top, except for a flower pot drip tray which nearly,
but not quite, fit. We used it anyway, weighted down with a
brick on top. I was certain that was not a good idea and could
picture the thing shifting and the brick in on top of the frog.
She was just as certain it would work and put lots of blue tape
across the top to be sure. Oh, I didn’t drive fast and fairly
crept around the corners to keep it from tipping over. I
wouldn’t mind a frog loose in the car, but didn’t want the water
That would be a real mess!
Somehow I got everything home
without mishap. And when carrying it into the yard, in the
pouring rain, it happened!! The brick and top slid into the
bucket, perhaps on top of the frog. I hastened to the stream
and upturned the bucket, without the brick and with the blue
tape loosened. PLOP, and in he went! He certainly didn’t look
at all impaired, so the brick must not have landed exactly on
him, but sort of next to him. Lucky frog. The rain was now
coming down in sheets so I ran for cover. Each time the rain
let up a bit, I snuck over to the stream to see if I could catch
a glimpse of him. But after that first landing, it disappeared.
Somebody told me that frogs will stay around if they are born
there, or come in as tadpoles. But if they are fully grown,
they might leave. Personally I think any frog that didn’t want
to stay in my yard is too stupid to bother with, but I kept
The next day, with the rain only light now, I went to the back
of the yard to purge my vortex. This is a big
part of my water change regimen. I wasn’t looking for the frog.
Well, there he was, happy as a lark, and jumped into the back
bog with a splash! I guess all’s well that ends well.
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