Friday, June 26, 2009

Nutwood 911

Sorry I didn't make the rounds this afternoon, but I'll catch up soon. It was way too nice--warm but with a wonderful breeze--to sit inside, and I spent the afternoon reading out on the deck (and doing a little bird and critter watching along the way). I started the latest Dean Koontz book, and I'm halfway through it already. I just might be able to finish it tomorrow!

Earlier today, I headed out to the garden--tra la la--with my watering can in hand. Everything is looking good except for those damn cucumbers. What is it about our soil that is hostile to cucumber seeds? I might have to do some research. I've grown them before, so what has changed? Hmm.

On my way back up to the house after watering, I decided to stop at the small pond in the middle of the yard and clean it out a bit. It was covered with duckweed, and I thought I'd tidy it up a bit. I was surprised that I didn't see any frogs on the side of the pond, because we usually have plenty, and I figured that they just weren't hanging out in that little pond this year. So I grabbed the net and started skimming the duckweed, then dumping it into the firepit a few feet away. After a half a dozen or so trips, I could see into the pond a little better and saw tadpoles! Bunches of!

Tadpoles But then I thought, uh oh. I hope I didn't grab any that were within the duckweed. I went over to the firepit and looked at the pile of duckweed in the middle and saw several tiny little flops. *gasp* I was killing tadpoles! The sun was hot and beaming down relentlessly, and there they were, flopping within that duckweed, trying to find moisture and get out of the sun. The frantic rescue operation began. I was able to get one or two--sometimes three--into the net at a time, and carried them back to the pond, shielding them from the sun with my hand. Most swam back into the pond unharmed, but there were a few that didn't make it, and I was very upset. This wasn't happening fast enough, and those poor little tadpoles were dying as I raced to save them.

As I moved the pile of duckweed, more and more tadpoles were revealed...dozens of them! They were trying to burrow down into the duckweed to get out of the sun and find some moisture. I broke out into a cold sweat--actually, a very hot sweat, because it was very toasty in the sun. If I were baking like a potato in the sun, how must those inch-long little tadpoles feel?! I was horribly upset with myself for not realizing that there were tadpoles caught up in that duckweed. As much as I love our critters and birds here, here I was killing dozens of them, and time and the sun were their enemy. What to do, what to do....

You can probably guess. I picked up, in my hands, all the duckweed that I'd deposited in the firepit and carried it back to the pond and replaced it gently. Most of it was still very moist and hidden from the sun, so I think I saved most of them. There were even a couple of boards laying in the firepit that had a few tadpoles on them, and I was able to pull those out and dip them into the pond to return the tadpoles to the water. A toad hopped into the firepit and he seemed to approve of my efforts.

What did we learn at Nutwood today, Beth?

  • First, what seems to be an unoccupied pond probably isn't. If you've had plenty of frogs in it before, chances are you will again.
  • Second, tadpoles do not do well in direct sun, out of the water.
  • Third, redemption is possible, and you can go home again.
  • Finally, don't try to clean the pond until you see frogs sitting on the edge, and hear their gentle plop as they jump in the water when you approach.

I'm sorry a few of you perished, little tads, but I tried to save most of you, and if your numbers are any indication, we're going to have frogs everywhere in a couple of weeks! There were plenty in the pond, hanging out on the sides (underwater), coming up to the surface to float and sun themselves. Most of them had little back legs already. Aww! They were so cute! After I got everyone back in the pond, I just crouched and watched them for a little bit, and I told them I was sorry. I also saw a couple of ants that had been relocated in the frantic rescue effort, so I was able to get them out of the pond and back into the grass. Maybe I went a little overboard, but hey, it wasn't their fault they went from dry land to being stranded in a pond--it was mine.

Balance has been restored to Nutwood, and tranquility, harmony, and nature reign once again.


  1. Of course you didn't intend to harm tadpoles in your effort to clean out the pond. I'm glad most of them survived. Right now, they're probably telling their friends all about their great adventure on dry land. You are a good steward of Mother Nature!

  2. Hi Beth,
    Wow ... what a rescue operation. If it weren't for your quick efforts, I'm sure dozens if not hundreds of them would have croaked.

  3. Oh My God, now the liberals are killing tadpoles ;-0.

    Seriously, I did figure out very early in this little scenario that you'd put all the duckweed back, and it was the best you could do, no guilt. I wouldn't say you went overboard, just reacted like the caring person that you are. ~Mary

  4. Evil Nutwood Black Haired Woman strikes again, but is redeemed by Nutwood Beth :o)

  5. You have been recommended for a certificate of honour from ITS (International Toad Society)

    Congratulations. DB

  6. I didn't realize you were SUCH a treehugger!! (grin!)

  7. Poor little tadpoles. ha.
    Hope you all have a nice weekend.

  8. You know, I would've been doing the same thing. And saying I'm sorry, I'm sorry, just a few more seconds, I'm sorry... right along with you. ;) I hear the frogs are constructing a warning sign to future generations, Beware of Human carrying Net. ;)

  9. I'm too much of a city girl to know any of this information about tadpoles!

    Bless you for trying to save the little tadpoles.

    Hugs, Rose

  10. Sounds like a great day! Awww, I hope all the little tadpoles will do just fine!

  11. Well never thought I would be friendly with a murderer !!
    still I once "fed" all my tadpoles with delicious ice cream....well who was I to know that they didn't appreciate it... and to think I had shared my last lick or three !!!
    Lucky nuttwood tadpoles is all I can say.
    Love Sybil xx

  12. watch out for are public so one of them may see that some tadpoles accidently died and they'll be after you....since they are now done whining about Obama and "the fly".

  13. Cliff and I saw a lot of like-new Dean Koontz books at a garage sale today. His books certainly keep my attention, but they're so SCARY! So we passed on buying them.

  14. I'm with Mary... I KNEW before you said it that you would put the duckweed back into the pond! LOL!! You're soooo.... BETH!!! Those tadpoles are so lucky that YOU'RE at Nutwood, and not me!! = ) I'm proud of you. Good job!!

  15. There never has been a question why I adore you but now it is just pure LOVE.....that is sooooo me!!!! ;)


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?