Frogwatch

He appears, jam jar in hand and says, 'Next door's pond has loads of frogspawn in it'. And? 'They said we could have some'. When? 'Last year'. They're on holiday. 'They won't mind'. This is all from a child who can't remember to turn the light out after him. Oh yes, he will leave our house lit up like a Christmas tree because he forgot but if a promise has been made, even if that promise was a year ago or when he was six months old, he will remember. We collect our jam jar from what is already a heaving pond of spawn. When the neighbour comes back she says, 'Oh yes, the frogs were in there all night getting excited', and D yells for the entire hamlet to hear, 'We stole some of your frogspawn', and for emphasis, 'From your pond'. He never mentions that they told him to take it last year. There is an awkward moment when we have to explain what we were doing on our bellies with a jam jar whilst they were sunning themselves on holiday. Thankfully, we have good neighbours and they did remember that they offered last year and that we are not frogspawn-knappers. Children have this wonderful way of dropping you in it. The creation of our new wildlife pond has been D's from the start, before #froggate, we had prepped the pond to have frogs in it. We have added a shingle beach for bugs, beasties and birds to get into the pond easier.

wildlife pond

D on a sunny afternoon constructed it, telling everyone who passed that this was his pond. It did come across a little like a farmer saying with shotgun in hand, 'Get 'orf my land'. Imagine you are just taking a leisurely walk down a country lane, you stop to admire the view and a small boy pops up over a stone wall yelling, 'This is my pond!' It seemed like every time we came out to see how he was doing with his shingle beach project that some person was walking very fast in the distance with D waving after them.


Wildlife pond

The shingle beach was easy to construct, the bag of pebbles were only £4 (around $6 or €5) and took D around thirty minutes to put them in the water on a bed of large bricks. The idea was to create pockets (or 'caves' as D calls them) where tadpoles or bugs can hide. We have no fish in our pond because this is here to attract wildlife and to have a level of biodiversity that fish would have a massive impact on. To put it simply, if you have fish, they'll eat everything.


Wildlife pond

So, after getting our jam jar of frogspawn into the water, we left them to do their thing and that's when the watching of spawn got a little addictive.


Frogspawn

Day #1 and D is caught throughout the day in the front garden.


Wildlife

Day #2 and he's starting to ask when they will hatch.


Frogwatching

We catch him poking the water with a stick, he blames Mummy, Mummy goes red because she's been doing it too. Their excuse? To see if the tadpoles would move inside their eggs.

Frogspawn

Day #3 catch Mummy with stick, she says, 'I've only been here for a few seconds'. We've been looking for her for twenty minutes. 

Biodiversity

This frog watching is addictive and as the marsh marigold flowers, several days later, and several hundred trips with D to watch the frogspawn we have tadpoles.

Marsh marigold

Tadpoles

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