"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Caught in the Act!

There were two clumps of frogspawn in the pond this morning

and when I glanced out of the kitchen window mid-morning it was obvious that there was lots of frog action in the pond. I put the 70-300mm lens on the camera and managed to get some pictures. I didn't bother with the tripod partly because I was worried that the frogs might disappear if I went back into the house but mainly because I had to clamber over the rockery behind the pond to get the sun behind me and its a bit of a precarious position to mess around with the tripod!

Here you can see a male and female frog in an "amplexus" embrace. When the females return to the pond a male may get in this position and remain there for days or weeks until spawning begins. As far as I am aware no-one knows what exactly triggers the spawning. The female lays eggs and fertilization by the male takes place externally. He has to shed sperm as soon as the eggs are laid as the spawn rapidly swells in water and within a few minutes the eggs are no longer accessible to sperm.

You can see from the photo how swollen the female's belly is with eggs.

I could count up to 7 frogs in the pond and here's some more photos of the frogs and "action".

There was plenty of croaking to be heard too. Just have to hope now that there won't be any hard frosts and temperatures below freezing that could damage the frogspawn.

Finally, one of the stock doves has been feeding each day in the garden and I managed to get a photo at long last through the kitchen window.


Rohrerbot said...

You are so lucky!!:) I love the croaking and cricket sounds from areas like these. I've always been fascinated by frogs and remember chasing them as a kid. Hope you have lots of them swimming around in the next couple weeks:)

Pete said...

frogs porn ;)

nice one with the stock dove!!

Ragged Robin said...

Chris - they're fascinating creatures. Best of all was when the children were little and we raised tadpoles in a tank and then let the little froglets go in the pond.

LOL Pete! - Still plenty of activity this morning!

Toffeeapple said...

I do hope that you will post pictures of the froglets when it is time.

ShySongbird said...

What an interesting post and beautifully illustrated with your photos. How lovely to be able to study the frog activity so closely in your own garden.

I haven't seen Stock Doves in my garden lately, I think they have been intimidated by a small army of Feral Pigeons!

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - I will do my best although the tadpoles all seemed to disappear last year - have a feeling the newts and mallard that visited the pond were predating them!

ShySongbird - Many thanks for your lovely comment.

The feral pigeons in our garden seemed to have disappeared over the last month or so (thank goodness!!) but I have noticed over recent years that collared dove visits have more or less completely stopped whereas wood and feral pigeons have increased tremendously.

Tricia said...

How lovely to see your frogs and spawn. This is the first year I've not had the enjoyment of watching my own garden visitors; they always spawned on 25 February... at least for the last 3 years. I shall have to investigate getting one put in in my 'new' garden.

In terms of frost and ice Caroline; this should't be a problem.. it never seemed to adversely affect the spawn that I had in previous years

Ragged Robin said...

Hope you are settling into your new home Tricia. A pond would be a great addition to the garden :D.

Your frogs spawned earlier than ours - only had two February dates in 19 years! Worked out the average date yesterday which was 13th March!