Are you looking at me?
I don't know who leapt the furthest, me or the frog I found in the garden on Sunday. I was tidying a quiet corner of the garden and this beautiful sight was my reward, once I'd got over the surprise! It got me thinking, I don't have a pond at VP Gardens, but frogs do seem to like it here. There's a stream nearby which helps, so what am I doing right to encourage them?
This article from The Guardian has some pointers. Apparently frogs spend two years on land before they breed and they love lots of leaf litter and log piles to hide in. These places are also a good source of favourite food such as slugs. I have plenty of leaf litter courtesy of the trees nearby and my 'compost direct' policy, plus I've hidden a number of small log piles in quiet corners. Shady areas and the clay soil probably help as parts of the garden remain damp even in exceptionally dry weather.
I've since realised I had an improvised pond in the shape of a small tub trug tucked away and forgotten behind the pergola in my side garden. I decided to tidy this away on Sunday and the frog leapt up when I tipped the water out. It seems this was an ideal pond, at over 2 feet in depth and with a few discarded pots within to help the frog out if needed.
To rephrase a well-known film quotation, it seems that 'if you leave it they will come'. My frog soon dived into the shelter of the ivy at the side of the garden after I took this photo. I've returned the tub trug back to its hiding place in the hope it'll return to it in time.
What wildlife encounters have you had lately?