Tag Archives: bullfrog

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

25 Mar

You want a big pond? Then you should build a pond, but if you saw how I spent the last 7 hours you would NOT want a big pond.

..and the smell is...I can't even think of a word.

The smell is…I can’t even think of a word.

I like to clean out the ponds early in the year. Then, if we get a warm spell, I can get the turtles and plants outside sooner.

Last week I cleaned out my little 30 gallon pond. That’s a quick job, taking no more than an hour.

Then a few days ago, I cleaned up all the plants that surround my big pond. That took a few hours. I was stumbling over the decorative rocks and wood, hacking and raking. But it was a beautiful day, about 60 degrees F.

Now the cold has returned and I have the day off, so I cleaned the pond. I should have stayed inside and done something fun, like prepare my annual income taxes.

These pictures don’t begin to show how dirty and disgusting and smelly it was. When I see someone’s beautiful pond I know the work that happened behind the scenes.

I disassembled a sponge filter and used the sponge and a plastic cap on my pond pump.

I disassembled a sponge filter and used the sponge and a plastic cap on my pond pump.

First, on goes the sponge...

First, on goes the sponge…

...then the plastic cap. I was able to pump all the nasty water out of the pond without the filter getting plugged.

…then the plastic cap. I was able to pump all the nasty water out of the pond without the filter getting plugged.

Here's the pond AFTER the I had hosed it out and climbed inside and removed rocks, etc. It was MUCH WORSE than this looks.

Here’s the pond AFTER the I had hosed it out and climbed inside and removed rocks, etc. It was MUCH WORSE than this looks.

Notice the plastic jug on the pond bottom. The jug had a square-ish shape and I use it as a scoop. This works well when tearing down aquariums, too.

Notice the plastic jug on the pond bottom. The jug has a square-ish shape and I use it as a scoop. This works well when tearing down aquariums, too.

The small pond had been dechlorinated and tested with 5 Rosy-red minnows.

The small pond had been dechlorinated and tested with 5 Rosy-red minnows.

Today I discovered that a lot of minnows had survived our very cold Winter. Even better, my two Comet Goldfish had survived! I really thought they were dead. I hadn't seen them since October.

I moved all the surviving minnows to the little pond. Even better, my two Comet Goldfish had survived! I really thought they were dead. I hadn’t seen them since October.

I was feeling so bad about the Goldfish dying that I bought two Fancy Goldfish a few months ago.

Since I thought my outdoor Goldfish had died I bought two Fancy Goldfish a few months ago.

Here's the other one. These two will definitely have to be brought indoors before it gets very cold next Fall.

Here’s the other one. These two won’t be spending the Winter outdoors.

After about 6 hours of backbreaking work, I am filling the pond.

After about 7 hours of backbreaking work, I am filling the pond.

As it fills, I made some minor adjustments to the stream, tucking a few rocks here and there.

As it fills, I made some minor adjustments to the stream, tucking a few rocks here and there.

All done! I added some dechlorinator and I'll test it with a few minnows about 3 days from now.

All done! I added some dechlorinator and I’ll test it with a few minnows about 3 days from now.

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And here's the prize find! A 4" long Bullfrog was sleeping on the bottom. It's going to get very cold in the next few days so I'll warm him slowly in my garage and feed him a few worms.

Here’s the prize find! A 4-inch long Bullfrog was sleeping on the bottom. It’s going to get very cold in the next few days so I’ll warm him slowly in my garage and feed him a few worms.

And here's a tip for my fellow bird lovers. After the snow melts there are a lot of seeds under the bird feeders. I wait for a nice dry day and get out the shop-vac. I only look like an idiot for a few minutes and I won't have all those seeds sprouting in the grass .

A tip for my fellow bird lovers. After the snow melts there are a lot of seeds under the bird feeders. I wait for a nice dry day and get out the shop-vac. I only look like an idiot for a few minutes and I won’t have all those seeds sprouting in the grass.

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It’s frog, toad, tadpole weather

15 Apr

We had a rainy night and a warm blast of air. The toads  started singing and this morning a pair were “making out” by the little pond. Also, a little Bullfrog was nestled in the plants.

You can see both the toads and the Bullfrog.

Since it is so warm, I scooped up a few (about 100) toad tadpoles and released them into the 30 gallon pond. The aquarium they were in is about 68F, and the pond is 64F.

I have been giving away a few tadpoles to my co-workers who have young children, and also one young lady took some to a school.  Still, I have about 1500 tadpoles to go!

I love this wet Spring weather, so good for the amphibians, and ducks.

Winter to Spring in one week

11 Mar

Unbelievable how the weather has changed this past week.

Remember those Smelt that I bought for feeding my Lionfish? I tried them as fish bait at a nearby river. Unfortunately, the day I went fishing was cold, about 30F, with winds gusting to 40MPH. Wow, what a day to be outside, but I  had solitude that’s for sure.  No people, no fish.

The photos make it look nice, but watch this video to see the truth!

This road was closed for the Winter so my car was about a quarter mile away dead ahead.

Instead of walking along the road, I took a shortcut through the woods

A few days later it got warmer and there were sure signs of Spring right around my house. Three migrating birds arrived at out bird feeders. Grackles (which I admit are not a well-liked bird), Red-Winged Blackbirds, and the Eastern Goldfinch.

Three Goldfinches were in our birch tree eating the seeds. The bright yellow color of the male Goldfinch doesn't appear until they moult.

Once it was a little warmer I tried fishing again. This time I took Nightcrawlers (those are big worms, if you are not familiar with the term Nightcrawlers) and went to a creek that is about 5 minutes from my house.

I caught and released a bunch of Creek Chubs.


I spotted a medium sized Bullfrog crouched along the bank of the creek.  I picked him up, he didn’t move.  I decided to take him home and fatten him up. You can see that hibernation must be very tough for these frogs.

Little Bullfrog needs a little TLC

25 Feb

Not so skinny now. "Burrrrp."

The smallest frog I brought in for the winter is getting too skinny. Tonight I stopped and bought some crickets, then put the frog into an empty 10 gallon tank. I added about 6 crickets and a shallow dish of water. He can eat without any competition.  I’ll make sure to separate him from the other frogs every week and see that he gets plenty to eat.

Instant Frogs

25 Dec

Every summer, native frogs move into my 600-gallon turtle pond. The nearest “real” pond is probably a mile away, so I don’t see any frogs until  July or August. I’m always excited to see that one has finally found my yard.

Frog in the 30 gallon pond.

The species that come are either the Bullfrog, the Green Frog, or the Leopard Frog. This year, it was 3 Green Frogs and one young Bullfrog.

If you have an outdoor pond, and it gets cold in the Winter, the frogs will eventually attempt to hibernate in it. In the wild they will go down into the leaves and muck on the bottom of their pond.  My pond has a rubber liner (EPDM) and they can’t dig in. I have found a couple of dead frogs in my pond in the Springtime.  It is discouraging to think that the pond attracts them, they have a great summer, then die over the winter.

I'll have a Frog on the Rocks.

I had a choice to make.

Option One: I could dump a few bagfuls of leaves into the pond, hook up an aquarium air pump and run an airline into the pond to oxygenate it. I think they would have a good chance of surviving.

Instead, as it got colder, I decided to capture the 4 frogs. That was challenging. The pond is 4 feet deep and the water is not that clear. Over the course of a week I finally captured the fourth frog with a big dip net. I still had choices of what to do with the frogs.

Option Two: Take them to a real pond and release them. Makes sense,  it’s easy, they should do OK.

Option Three: Bring them indoors for the Winter, feed them worms and crickets, then as soon as possible next Spring, release them back into my turtle pond. That way I will have Instant Frogs in the pond.

The big male Green Frog lives here for the winter.

Being selfish about keeping my Frogs, I decided to keep them over the winter. They are doing fine so far. I keep the biggest male apart from the others. Hopefully, they will lay some eggs in the pond early next Spring before I move the turtles out there. I also have a little 30 gallon pond out there so I can raise tadpoles if I should be so fortunate.