[an error occurred while processing this directive] A Frog For the Koi Pond

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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 mosquitos 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 a 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 spilled. 

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 looking anyway. 

            The next day, with the rain only light now, I went to the back of the yard to purge my vortex, a daily chore.  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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