Swimming with the Frogs

Bullfrogs are cute (sort of), but I'd prefer to stay out of ponds.

This past Wednesday was my day at work to cross-train in pond horticulture. I know nothing about pond plants and aquatic life.  So, I donned the weighters meant for a 6 foot tall man, attached my pruner holster and bravely slid into the pond.  

Now, garden ponds are typically dyed and this not being able to see the bottom of the pond was unnerving to me – particularly since in order to find and remove the spent blossoms on the lotus flower, you have to reach down and feel for the crown of the plant.  But lucky for me!  I’m a 5 foot tall woman and would have had to practically submerge myself to get at the crown on the plant and got to skip this part.

The most beautiful feature of any garden pond anywhere is the magnificent Victoria amazonica, or, what you probably know as ‘lilypad’ and we have this species in our ponds in abundance at the public garden where I work.  Native to the Amazon river basin, this ‘lilypad’ can grow to 3 meters in diameter. The unique architectural structure on the underside of the pad allows it, at its maximum diameter, to support up to 70 pounds. 

The ponds where I work are full of life:  mosquito eating fish, dragonflies, tadpoles, froglets, and full-grown bullfrogs.  And I really do like looking at these pond creatures.  Maybe not so much being in the water with them. The fella in the picture I posted with this blog is an adult male bullfrog who had an unfortunate accident that resulted in a little surgery to remove his foot.  He’s healing nicely.  His hospital room is a 5 gallon bucket.  He gets lots of water squirts and is fed crickets every day.  Pretty soon he’ll be placed in his new home.   

I like looking at the frogs, the ponds, the lilypads, but my hat is off to the horticulturists who jump in and do the work of maintaining the pond garden.  I'll stick to dry ground.  

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