Spring hath sprung


We knew spring had arrived, a bit ahead of schedule, back on March 8. The Bradford pear tree in the back yard was about to blossom. It was just a day or so past the full moon, we'd had some big rains, and that night we heard the trilling of a toad next to our backyard pond. The chorus grew and by Saturday we spotted a pair of toads in the pond, um, riding piggyback. This last Monday there were 9 toads in the pond at night, mostly lonely boy toads, pitching noisy woo. On the 17th, we had 17 in the pond, matching last year's peak attendance.

Apparently, our pond received some good word-of-vocal-sac referrals during the off-season. Thursday afternoon there were 22 and by 10 o'clock that night there were 32. It was like a little Woodstock: music, mud, and free love. As it was for the grownups back in '69, it was hard for us outsiders to tell which were the boys and which were the girls, and we had the impression that the toads weren't so sure themselves.

The townies -- the goldfish who are the permanent residents of the pond -- seemed bemused by the noisy, busy tourists in their midst and did their best not to get in the way, but the bigger fish in particular seemed agitated by all the frantic activity.

Thursday night was also when the first strand of little black pearls appeared -- tadpoles-to-be -- and by Friday evening, toad eggs were laced all through the water hyacinths in the middle of the pond.

Friday evening the numbers were down -- back to about 17, mostly singles, having a sing-song round the pool. When they got quiet, my son got them going again with his uncanny and amazing toad call. (Somehow he can trill his tongue and whistle at the same time.) We came across a very tired looking female (we think) resting in the grass nearby. We should start to see the tadpoles hatch in a week or so, and then watch them grow legs, lose their tails, and leave the pond.

(Here's a link about toads in fish ponds and the toad lifecycle.)

Tonight the weather turned cold and the pond is toad-free. And spring is definitely here.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 21, 2004 12:08 AM.

Accountability Burns runs for Police and Fire Commissioner was the previous entry in this blog.

The Dawn Patrol is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]