You Don’t See It?

I have learned to be an observer.

I pause and examine things closely.

This pond looks empty at first glance.


The noisy nights have let me know that things are happening.

I pause and ponder and bend down to look into the empty pond.

The green water is dotted with specks.

Some specks have heads and tails.

There is wiggling and swimming going on in that empty pond.

It is teeming with life.


Watch it. Wait for it. Let it be and see what evolves.

Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.


Look closer.


Almost Frogs

I was about to clean out the acorns from the pond,

when I noticed some had tails and were swimming!


What I was seeing weren’t acorns, but itty bitty tadpoles.

I have watched them develop this week.


They are almost frogs.

They have stopped swimming and have climbed out onto the floating leaves


to sit in the sun and absorb their tails.


These tiny little frogs are precious!


Flow loves frogs


The Boy’s Pond

My son dug his own fish pond under his bedroom window years ago.

He is a man now, living elsewhere.  His pond, of course, is still here.

There is always something going on in it during the warm months.

“Too Many Toads” occurred in it.

There were new eggs.  I held them up for this photo.

Black top with white bottom is called countershading, a form of aquatic camouflage.

When I put them back. They rolled over to white side up, which is upside down. Now the fish can see them from below and other predators can spot them from above.  I hope this did not lead to their disappearance.

The Parrot Feather actually closes in the evenings.

Some tadpoles survived from the last batch of eggs.

The first waterlily bloom opened this morning.

I love the pond.  I miss the boy.  I am proud of the man.




Too Many Toads

As I was walking my morning rounds on Thursday to inspect the gardens,

I spied two toads locked in an embrace on the rocks outside the pond.


Now I am no amphibian copulation expert, but I do know the fertilization is external and therefore requires water.

Was this a rehearsal? A practice session before entering the pond?

I took photos of the entranced toad couple and went about by business as they went about theirs.


Many hours later, I walked back by the pond. They were still there.

The top toad, who we will call Mr. Backpack looked dry and maybe a little sunburned. (or was it afterglow?)

Mrs. Squeeze( the bigger, bottom toad) had turned a bit, but was still on the same rock as hours before.


I began to wonder if we had a defective toad population.

Did they not know that this activity should be done in liquid?

By this time I was regularly checking the toads out of irritation rather than concern. Must I do everything? Can’t anyone do anything right without my help?

Must I lead a horny toad to water?

As I was weeding that afternoon I pulled up a clump of weeds with what I thought was a bulb attached.

When I pushed the “bulb” back down onto the ground, it smooshed and wiggled…another toad.


Even after dark, the two aforementioned toads remained on the rocks. I should have dropped them into the pond,  but as a biologist, I did not want to aid and abet defective genes entering the pool. (No pun intended.)


Finally, about nine PM, I spotted a pair of toads in a wrestling match in the lily box. I am yelling a blow-by-blow to my grown son and the neighborhood.

“She threw him off. He tried to get back on. She kicked him in the head. She kicked him again.”


I suddenly stopped. Really? Another toad? By the pond on the rocks.  Were these even the same toads? Mr. Backpack looked too light colored.  Was it another Squeeze on the rocks or another Backpack?  I was thinking there were too many toads in our yard.

Here a toad, there a toad, everywhere a toad or two.

As I was walking past the carport to the weed pile, I saw a familiar silouette under my car.


No worries.



There will be more toads.


My Fair Weather Friends

It’s just like some to show up only when things are good.

Here are two of my buddies that appear when the sun shines.

Slim is not our biggest nor boldest.  He is an acrobat.


I sit and watch him move as though I am the one being charmed.


Plop decided he needed to down-size this spring.


He usually perches overlooking the Koi pond.

Since the largest fish is now huge,


he feels more secure by the door in the Shubunkins’ above-ground pond.


FLOWER loves her friends.

A Dish In a Bowl of Fish

I have to bring my Shubunkins in for the winter.

They live in a small pond that I made years ago as “Maiden Stone Garden Art” concrete artist.


It is too small to leave water in it during a freeze.   Plants nor fish would survive.


The three Shubunkins come into the foyer to greet guests with noises and splashing.

It has been difficult to keep this bowl looking good and keep the water clean .


After much experimentation, I have found a way to keep the water clearer.

First, I use a turkey baster to gobble up the debris from the bottom.


This removes concentrated detritus without stirring up the water.

I purchased a foam filter and placed it in a dish, weighted down by rocks.


Now, I can lift out the dish full of waste while mixing less into the remaining water.


Always clean and dry used equipment. Also label it. No one wants to eat a turkey basted with your fish bowl sucker-upper.


Fish waste is like manna to microbes.

Now, I can actually see my little friends.


FLOWER and her fish.