Frog Destiny

My tadpoles are growing at a rapid rate, some having already morphed into frogs and left my pond for wider froggy horizons. I hope I retain enough in my garden to sing the chorus I love so well.

The pond experiment has been an edifying one. The tadpole population has proven to be quite diverse. My preferred explanation is that various spawn and tadpoles at different stages of development were washed into the drainage pond where we rescued them from certain death from desiccation. In the wild up to 60% will perish.  As the tadpoles grow, it’s become apparent how many different varieties there are. Some tiny and some large, with varied markings and sizes in-between.

Identification became a problem when I could only find pictures of tadpoles or mature frogs, which can look quite different to the morphs. None seemed to correspond with my photos. After posting the photos online and appealing for help, expert advice confirmed the species. Both were types of burrowing frog, but currently as tiny as a baby’s fingernail, they were almost impossible to distinguish. Thank goodness for the zoom feature on my iPhone.

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Yet to be identified morph

I still have a pond full of tadpoles. Who knows when they will be ready to leave home? Research says it can be up to eleven weeks, depending on the kind of tadpole and the prevailing conditions; or it may even be years for some breeds which can remain dormant underground until the time is just right.

Some of the largest in my pond are the slowest to metamorphose. I’m hopeful these will be the Green Tree Frogs – my favourite. Guaranteed a steady diet of frozen spinach and other vegetables, clean water and no predators, why would they be in a hurry to leave? But go they will and I watch with awe the drama of the amphibian life cycle play out right here in my tiny courtyard.

When I look at the tadpoles, their destiny determined by their biology, their fate influenced by the environment and yes, to some extent by me, I ponder the difference choices make to our own lives, the difference between our destiny and our fate. It’s a perplexing question. I would appreciate any thoughts you may like to offer.

This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can’t see how deep it is.

Dennis Rodman

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15 responses to “Frog Destiny

  1. I skimmed first, excited by the topic. I loved tadpoles, but lost track of them and their magic too early on.

    Planning to go back, and back — but then I saw the name Dennis Rodman. Almost choked. Dennis Badman Rodman. Has the great athlete dropped his personna and finally morphed into a real person? Good on him.

    Now I’m going back for a slow read and a good look.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to share this fascination Albert. I spend so much time just observing. Like you, I did a double take when I saw the author of that quote thinking it must be another Rodman, but I checked and it does appear to be the same one. Guess we must give credit where it’s due. Seems people can go through metamorphosis too.

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    • Albert I have to tell you what happened yesterday. I changed the water in the pool by one third and have the hose trickling in to replace and oxygenate at the same time. I thought I’d turned it off when it reached the right level but came home just as it began to overflow and tads were swimming over the lip and onto the tiles. Oh panic! Have you ever tried to pick up a tadpole! It’s almost impossible. Luckily I found something to scoop them into, and saved the lot. Phew! I won’t let that happen again. 😆

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