One evening while playing in the window area, one of the grand daughters, L, started to scream and I mean she was SCARED screaming that there was a monster in the window. Of course, her Daddy, N, and I went rushing over to see what on earth she was talking about, we looked out the window (which has lots of bushes in front of it so no"body" could get close to it) and didn't see anything, but she kept crying and insisting it was still there. We finally insisted she get close enough to it to show us WHERE this monster was, and there, at the base of the window was this horrific monster: a "teeny tiny" little tree frog, not even 2" long. Here is a picture of him/her through the double paned window, so excuse the poor photo, but it was the best I could do.
We've always had lots of toads around and I've rescued my fair share of toad eggs and tadpoles from large puddles etc. So, being the "kooky" person I am, I decided we had to have a pond for the poor creature. Poor Mr. C, as usual just rolled his eyes and helped me figure out what I needed, as long as N and I did the work, Mr. C didn't care. So, we got the materials we needed the next day and poor N went to work (I supervised, as usual, LOL). He dug and dug and dug, until he got it roughed out the same size and shape of the preformed pond liner we had chosen. He then put it in place, filled in around it to keep it in place and placed large special rocks, petrified stone, amethyst crystal rocks, etc. (all from my paternal grandparents many years of rock hounding around the country that we had "borrowed" from my Dad's house where he had moved them following the death of my grandparents). Then we planted some new perennial flowers around it and put some pond plants in it and waited, in hopes our "monster friend" would find it. Doesn't it look nice?
Apparently Mr/Ms Tree Frog, as well as resident toads, liked it because we had TONS of adult toads doing things that of course, had to be explained to curious little grand daughters, LOLOL and subsequently tons of toad eggs and tadpoles and baby toads. We never saw the tree frogs IN the pond and never saw if they had young or not, but we learned the songs/sounds frogs and toads make and the older of the two grand daughters, E, learned to mimic the sound of the toads, which is a VERY shrill trilling. The tree frogs have a different sound and tempo to their song.
We knew they were still around and there were more of them the next year, summer of 2012, as we saw them around the house and heard them on all sides of the house. They enjoyed hiding behind our decorative shutters, it became a game to try to spot them.
In the summer of 2012, all the grand children were visiting and decided we needed to have fish in our pond. Yes, I know that may limit the frog/toad population, as the fish will probably eat the eggs and tadpoles, but. . . we went out and got some very inexpensive feeder goldfish (not sure they would even live in our "wild" little pond and actually figuring they would be gone by the next spring and not affect the toad/frog population at all, LOL).
This past week has finally been getting a bit warmer and more spring like with temps in the 50s during the day. The pond has completely thawed out, yesterday I noticed my crocus(es) are blooming and my other bulbs (planted last fall) are coming up.
My garden is always so bare and dead looking after winter I decided to plant (well, have dear Mr. C plant) a bunch of bulbs last fall. Tulips, Daff-a-down-dillys (as our family has always called Daffodils and Narcissus), grape hyacinths, and crocus to give me a bit of color following the winter.
I even bought myself a little sight of spring to cheer myself up, before I noticed the crocus.
Today it is almost 70*, I can hardly believe it. It is horribly windy and a grey cloudy day, but I have a lot to do as we have started preparing for our next big adventures, which I will tell about in my coming blog posts. Thanks for joining me in celebrating surprises of spring here at the Castle. Hope you'll join me for further adventures. Smiles, Sue C