This has been one tough winter, with snow so deep it buried several trees, including my nearly two-metre tall dwarft pear tree. Broken branches, trees bent to the ground, rosebushes in pieces on the ground: the damage has been great, and the budget will have to stretch to several replacement plants.
But it’s not all gloom and doom, now that the snow is gone and the sun is making the veranda toasty again. The plants have loved all this winter moisture and many are showing more buds than we usually see.
And the pond has suddenly come to life!
We’ve only seen a couple frogs, tiny ones, in the past, after seeing many tadpoles. But we still had so much snow even two weeks ago that we couldn’t reach the pond, and we haven’t seen a single tadpole.
Today 10 or more frogs the size of a small fist have poked their heads out of the mud to sunbathe. And there are two clouds of frog spawn floating on the surface of the pond, so it looks like this is frog party year.
The little frogs sneak out of the pond to hide in the ivy around the edge, at the bottom of my rock garden.
The rock garden is offering us its first flowers after a handful of crocus blooms – pink and purple pulsatilla, or Paque flowers.
I expect to see nature hard at work to get the creatures balance right in coming weeks. The frogs will be happy about our bugs, and I hope they become expert at catching the flies from the cows next door. On the other hand, we are on a kind of neighborhood autoroute for cats, and I think we’ll see them sunbathing on the edge of the pond, waiting for the frogs.
The garden cleanup chores, and there are plenty, suffered a bit from the frog-watching today, but it was worth it.