Our first frog sighting in the pond yesterday, April 15! Much earlier than the last two years, when the first frogs came in June or July. It turned out to be a tree frog, rather than the green frogs that we’ve seen in prior years. We figured it out because in the afternoon, when my friend Francesca and I were sitting by the pond for a visit, suddenly, he sang the most amazing trilling sound, his white throat patch blowing out and in. And I remembered that Margy had heard that sound earlier in the day. Then, yesterday evening after dark, the night air was awash in these trilling calls, from all directions. A little internet searching identified those calls as tree frog mating calls.
Tree frogs live in trees, like their name suggests, and hunt on land most of the year, but they breed in water, in ponds and vernal pools. So maybe, just maybe, we’ll have some tadpoles to grow in our pond this spring. I learned that they eat algae, so that is another good, because our pond has got a bit too much algae in it. So exciting!
The other adventure of breeding is that of our robin pair. Even after three failed attempts to rear live young from eggs in a nest on the beam under the clear roof of our back porch, they were at it again, bringing nesting material to the same spot. That spot was just too hot in summer. It was so sad. So, first I tried telling them to go somewhere more suitable! Then I tried taking out the grasses to discourage them that way. But they kept at it. So then, I had a totally alternative idea. What about making something to shade that corner of the clear plastic roof? So it wouldn’t be so hot. This morning, I searched around and found some old cream-colored sturdy curtain material, and cut it to fit. Then I got up on a ladder and stapled it tightly to the wooden crossbeams.
I have already seen the robins return with more nesting material, so maybe they’ll put up with the changes to their location. After all, I had also painted the beams last fall. Now I am hoping that it will be enough–that the shade will keep the spot from getting too hot, that the robins can finally have a little family, in their chosen spot. And can I say that my heart is filled with joy after this little project? Some kind of ecstasy to help a fellow inhabitant of this place, to live together in mutual reciprocity.