So I went out to the pond yesterday morning, doing my usual wander-around-the-garden morning circuit, and looked down into the pond, and there they were….tadpoles!
I did the dance of tadpoles, which involved tearing into the house and grabbing Kevin and demanding he come look RIGHT THIS MINUTE.
They’re really really tiny–no longer than the mosquito larvae that are also cropping up, and which will hopefully soon be vanishing down myriad tiny throats. Black, broad-headed, and wiggly, the tadpoles look like goblin sperm. (Insomuch as I ever pictured goblin sperm looking, which I have to admit, I had not contemplated before today.)
They’re coming from eggs which are laid all over the pond, in clusters along the rims of the pots containing the plants, around the bases of the plants themselves, and in globs wherever the horsetails dip to touch the surface. The eggs are rather larger than the tadpoles, which makes sense, and if not hundreds, there are certainly dozens. The dense stand of tiny horsetail is absolutely crammed with them.
They’re small enough that I could see them being cricket frog larvae—they’d have to grow a hundred times their current size to belong to the pickerel frog that has taken up residence in the pond (and for all I know is cannibalizing some of these little fellows.) But I know that tadpoles can certainly grow a great deal, so it’s not impossible, and the mass of eggs laid in the pond put together would make two or three whole cricket frogs, so I honestly don’t know WHAT they’ll turn into!
Mind you, they’re also so small right now that the predacious diving beetle could eat them like candy, so I hope a significant number survive to adulthood.
I’m very excited!
(Also, an article of mine on Baptisia runs over at Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens, which I was in no way, shape or form paid to write by weevils. Nuh-uh. Not at all.)