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Old 10-26-2013, 08:39 PM   #11
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I was potting water garden plants today when I discovered a sleepy frog. It looked like a very small Bullfrog. It headed to the bottom of the tub. So now I'm worried about this frog. I piled slate in the tub up to the top. I hope if the frog sticks around that maybe it will find a safe spot around the rocks to over winter.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:34 PM   #12
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I've only had my pond project go through one winter so far. They were dug to be deep enough not to freeze solid over winter. One has a huge rock in it with a space underneath. I too just assumed the frogs would come and go and find a suitable spot. However, as far as I know they did over winter here...I had five (or did it get up to seven?) last summer...after reading Equil's posts, I was afraid what spring would bring. Very early in the spring I spotted one or two in the thawed water...over time, I counted five between the two sections of "phase one" of my stream and pond project. Luckily, I didn't find any dead floaters.

This summer, I had my first tadpoles...as I watched the small frogs emerge, I noticed I wasn't seeing the larger adults. I don't know much about their longevity, just that they seemed to disappear shortly after the tadpoles began to mature.

The second generation got pretty big by season's end. However, they were not accustomed to me as their parents had been; we were home much more often the previous summer...and hardly at all this summer, so I wasn't at the pond's edge almost daily like before. Even so, eventually one of them accepted cabbage moth cateillars from me--placed on the end of a stalk of grass. Even the adult that I fed the previous summer, waited until I left before taking the offering...this one did it right in front of me!

I definitely want to be responsible, but I don't want to do anything unnecessary if he frogs are fine with my set up as is.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:25 PM   #13
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Here's the 1st pond I worked on this weekend. It's drained down to about 6" now and I'll be able to clearly see if any frogs end up down at the bottom again. The 1st frog I pulled out was a female. I ended up pulling out 4 more females and 1 male.
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Dappy> I heard this guy speak once, Kerry Kriger - Save The Frogs. He's from your neck of the woods. Maybe contact him.... there's a contact page..... include a photo of your pond and let him know that your pond has a total volume of about 100-150 gallons.... give him the actual depth of it which is 3' and ask him his professional opinion because I just don't think any frogs left behind in your pond that you know is going to freeze over will be able to survive to reproduce next spring... I could be wrong if you end up having an incredibly mild winter but.... my little voice says you could be at risk of losing any froggie friends you've got in there if they're not moved to a larger body of water while they're still active enough to seek an appropriate place to overwinter. You're a solid USDA zone 5 just like me and I checked and.... your frost line is 36". Mine's 42". That's not a good indicator that true frogs would survive let alone make it to spring without being provided with an appropriate substrate to brumate in and an air stone to keep a hole in the surface of the ice. Here's another place you could contact to ask for professional advice, Lancaster Herpetological Society | Husbandry, Education, Conservation, Community. They're really not that far from you and they're pretty active and I'm thinking there's someone there who would respond to your inquiry.
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EW> I think maybe you might want to contact a professional and ask too.... turttle's got a coupla thousand gallons of water in her system and she's a lot farther south than you. Here's a link to your state's biologists and there's a contact page over on the left, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the link to the Maryland Herpetological Society was a dead end but I found a link to The Natural History Society of Maryland and here's the page to their "herp" team, Members - The Natural History Society of Maryland (Baltimore , MD) - Meetup. That looks like a pretty active group.... I dunno if you've got time what with heading up your local Audubon Chapter and all but I'm thinking you might find a lot of people like me and hava on the outings they plan. Could be worth your time joining if but for nothing else than hanging out with people who wobble and do fall down for snickers and grins.... If you join.... you'll be able to lead us to all the "hot spots" when we come back.... and you could introduce us to all your new wild and crazy herpie friends!!!
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:58 PM   #14
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Dap I like your frog stories. I can't believe you can get close enough to feed them. My frogs are always very shy. Sounds Like you have quite a nice setup for frogs. I definitely want to see it when its finished. Be ready for another meetup at your place!

Oh oh oh! You and hava may get back this way equil? I like that! I already managed to chase away Maryland dnr. I guess my enthusiasm was too much for them. Maybe I will have better luck with the natural history society. Great idea, thanks equil. Those are beautiful frogs you have.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:33 PM   #15
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Thanks for the link, Lib.

All I know is I was expecting the worst this spring and found them coming to the surface really early...that I can't imagine that they'd have traveled over ground. I'm assuming they over wintered in the ponds.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllenW View Post
Dap I like your frog stories. I can't believe you can get close enough to feed them. My frogs are always very shy. Sounds Like you have quite a nice setup for frogs. I definitely want to see it when its finished. Be ready for another meetup at your place!
Thanks, Ellen. I'm assuming seeing me often without any harm coming to them helps. After first building the pond and having the frogs show up, I probably was out there daily. I remember sitting on a boulder eating cereal one morning. This summer they saw me less often, but I would top off the one pond periodically (it has a slow leak apparently )...and they tend to watch me...I wonder if that helps them trust me too. Here's hoping I have more time to bond with my frogs I the years to come.

Well, I have a LOT of work to do to get my vision completed...but eventually I want the final pond to be much larger and a bit deeper than the ones I've dug last year.

By the time I get my pond and stream project complete, I'm sure my trees and shrubs will have grown in and made their presence known. Right now, there is nothing impressive to see...but I hope to change that--I actually have to start focusing on the pond project again, before I get too old to dig it and move all of those mini-boulders.

I'm really hoping next time we have members out here that the habitat has really begun to take shape.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:50 AM   #17
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I'm considering using heaters in my water gardens. I could use them if they start to freeze over. That doesn't happen very often. I have a generator if the power goes out. I also have a gas fireplace that I can put a pot of water on to heat. Dap as cold as it gets where you are I think you need something to help the frogs. They will suffocate if the pond freezes over. I also plan to contact Th Natural History Society that equil kindly provided a link to.
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:05 PM   #18
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Dappy> gut tells me they didn't overwinter in your pond.... not with a frostline that's 36" for the Scranton area. I'm thinking the frogs you found in spring came back to hang in the nice new digs you created for them once the weather warmed up. Mine always start showing up in May.... sometimes as early as April.... it depends on the weather. BTW.... if you took any photos of all the frogs hanging out by your pond.... you should post em. They looked really happy and I was surprised that only 1 of them went underwater when we were all out there ohhhhing and ahhhhing at them!!!
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EW> Ohhhh…. I’m so glad you’re gonna contact those people!!! Relocating frog friends is best but…. with this cold snap we had….. I don’t know if they’re active enough right now to even be relocated. The frogs I pulled out were iffie and I brought them inside my house for about a half hour so they’d warm up just enough to be able to do their “thang” when I walked them back and tossed them in the big pond.
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I don’t think you need to incur the expense of a heater or de-icer and besides which…. those could elevate the water temps just enough to stir frogs from brumation too early as in…. at a time where there’d be nothing for them to eat. Only reason I mention this is because…. been there done that with a de-icing wand and really didn’t like having to run to PetSmart for crickets to tide them over only so Mr. Heron could come back to grace me with his presence and gobble them up. Another issue with heaters is that when frogs brumate…. they undergo a physiological change that renders them basically lifeless but…. they’ll still have a need for dissolved oxygen which a heater or de-icer wouldn’t provide. Where you are…. I’m thinking just keeping the water moving and aerated a little bit would be sufficient so maybe run the purchase of a little whisper pump with a bubbler stone by whoever you end up contacting and then maybe toss some leaves and a little rinsed sand and maybe some 8” squares of quilt batting down at the bottom in layers so they can snuggle in and won’t float up where they’d be eaten by a hungry critter looking for an easy meal. I saw a crow eat a frog that had floated up once…. never saw that before and never saw it again. Raccoons and opossums probably eat frogs that float up over winter too but… I’ve never seen it. Anywhooo…. an el cheapo air pump with a bubbler should be plenty to agitate the surface water enough that the whole pond wouldn’t freeze over allowing for gas exchange while removing some of the nitrogen and that should give any frogs that didn’t make it out of your pond a much needed helping hand. It’s no guarantee but…. it’d better their odds. Then if you get a really cold stretch of weather and your little pond completely ices over….. boil water in a pan and rest it on the ice until it melts a hole the frogs would need for the exchange of air. Just don’t panic if you see a solid layer of ice and take a hammer to it or run out and spend $$$ on a heater. Please let me know what you find out from them and…. I’d for sure be curious hearing about what you end up deciding to do!!!
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Dappy> gut tells me they didn't overwinter in your pond.... not with a frostline that's 36" for the Scranton area. I'm thinking the frogs you found in spring came back to hang in the nice new digs you created for them once the weather warmed up. Mine always start showing up in May.... sometimes as early as April.... it depends on the weather.
Maybe that is more likely...I'm just glad they like my pond enough to come back to it.

Quote:
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BTW.... if you took any photos of all the frogs hanging out by your pond.... you should post em. They looked really happy and I was surprised that only 1 of them went underwater when we were all out there ohhhhing and ahhhhing at them!!!
~smile~ I have a LOT of photos of all sorts of things that I've yet to post. I'm really behind. Actually, I've been thinking of starting a thread about things I've meant to post. I'm sure I have more frog photos; I just have to search for them.

I'm so glad that they were not all trying to dart back under the water while you were there. The ones from last year would've been even more used to me being there (and other people, I guess as well). I'm glad you think they seem happy. We're happy to have them.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:55 AM   #20
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Yes dap please post frog pictures. I love frogs. Equil I already have a bunch of those heaters already. If I only used them to melt the ice if the top froze over that would be the same thing as hot water wouldn't it? I think you are right that bubblers would be the best bet. That frog in the back is still there. I have screen over the water garden to catch the leaves and when I picked it up a frog jumped. No critters can get my frogs. I have cages over the water gardens to keep the cats away. No luck contacting the natural science group yet. I tried to email them and I had to type in scrambled letters that I was unable to decifer. I will try again. I will try Maryland dnr again too and see if they will start responding to my emails again. Thanks for all your help equil!
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