Saturday, March 31

They'll arrive when they are good and ready.

Usually we are alerted to the fact that the frogs have arrived by the sound of the males serenading potential mates. This year was different the first inkling was when, Martyn spotted some clumps of frog spawn.

We were bemused by this as neither of us had noticed any frogs in the pond.

Frog spawn without frogs was an impossible scenario so where were the frogs?

The morning after, Martyn was heading up the garden steps to fill the bird feeders when he nearly trod on something.

There on the bottom steps were two amorous frogs.
Scaling the steps up to the pond area seemed to be an impossible task for a frog carrying such a load so we decided to wait and see whether they moved.

We decided to have an afternoon tidying the garden. When working by the pond, I heard the unmistakable plop but no frog was in sight. Later I spotted this individual on guard by the frog spawn.
Was this one of the amorous pair? No they were still on the step.
As they didn't seem any nearer to progressing up the steps and as we were going to be heading up and down the steps all afternoon meaning they were in danger of being trodden on, I decided to give them a helping hand.

They were so enthralled in their passionate embrace that when I scooped them up in my hands the only movement was the stretching out of one back leg.

I popped them on the edge of the pond and the next time that I looked they had disappeared, hopefully into the water.

Last year I photographed frogs in the pond on 11 March so I had expected to see them earlier. However, in 2016 they didn't arrive until 2 April so I decided to check back a few years in my photo library. The times varied and so I decided to compare this to the average temperatures for each March and April.
It would be more accurate to say the dates were when we first noticed the frogs as this year they obviously arrived before the frog spawn which was the first thing that we noticed. However, the chart shows our frogs can arrive anywhere between the first half of March and the beginning of April.

The two earliest arrivals coincide with a warmer March and generally speaking the later arrivals coincide with the colder March temperatures with 2014 bucking the trend. 

Not accurate science, I know, but it may be concluded that although the temperatures may have some bearing on spawning time that there are other things that can also come into play and the frogs will just arrive when they are good and ready.

22 comments:

  1. What a fun post! Frogs are cool. ;)

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    1. They’ll be even cooler if it snows, tepals :-D

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  2. Pond sunk in June 2016. No frogs seem to have discovered it yet!

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    1. They’ll come eventually, Mal. If you know someone who has too much frog spawn in their pond and you can transport some to yours it may help things along as frogs are supposed to return to the same pond each year if they can.

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  3. Some years I see frogs in my pond as well Sue. I think they winter on the pond bottom in compost and old leaves. Yours photos and tabels look like the scientific investigation.

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    1. As the chart shows we have frogs every year, Nadezda but some year we have more than others. There are not many this year yet.

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    1. Thanks, Lucy - they are great subjects .

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  5. Great photos! I was just looking through blog posts today to see how previous March's had been...plant growth-wise. The best part of documenting is to be able to gain perspective from a historical basis. You'll have frogs coming out of your ears in no time!

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    1. I was looking at my photos, Jenni and noticed that our magnolia was in full flower last March but not this one. One good thing about the cold weather is that the hellebores and spring bulbs are staying in flower longer. As for the frog spawn the weather may take it’s toll and the fish but plentnwill survive.

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  6. Awesome photos Sue lovely post thank you for sharing have a blessed day both of you

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    1. Thanks, Linda, have a good Easter.

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  7. Birds too seem to have their own internal clock as to when they start nesting. Great photos of the frogs and spawn!

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    1. Thanks, Dave, we have a few birds nesting in the garden deep in some evergreen bushes. Maybe they are regretting it,

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  8. What a fun post! Love the frogs.

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    1. They're great little creatures, Michelle.

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  9. Wow - that is a lot of spawn! I have a feeling that the froggy pair will choose a slightly more private spot next time they are feeling amorous ;)

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    1. I think they were oblivious if me, Margaret. I just hope some of the spawn survives.

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  10. I was interested in the temperature chart, it’s so useful to have those records. Memory tells me that this March has been colder than any in recent memory but that’s clearly not the case. Although it could be down to regional differences. Whatever, I hope that now we’ve made it into April things will improve!

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    1. March 2013 we went on holiday to Worcestershire and I remember us debating as to whether we should set off in the snow, Jessica. We went to Hidcote to find the garden closed due to the paths being dangerous. It was so cold that the dog refused to go for a walk.

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  11. How interesting to see your frog spawn, we have some too although, I haven't seen any frogs, lots died while we were away sadly. Really enjoyed your frog pictures, I am missing the frog chorus this year, just the odd frog or two singing at night.xxx

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    1. It’s really sad about your frogs, Dina. As we have a filter moving the water in our pond, the whole surface doesn’t freeze over. I’m not sure whether the spawn will be viable after the cold weather. No singing frogs here either.

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