x4 images. Double click to enlarge. Back in February I noticed the frogs had did their thing and laid eggs in small clumps initially. Then as the days passed the pond was quite full of eggs! And there appeared to be no stopping them. I spotted around 3 frogs amidst the plant growth and frogspawn,… Read More The Frogs Are Back!
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – I found this one hiding under a rock near the garden pond. It was smaller than my little fingernail. As you can see it still has its tail, but its limbs are developing, and it can hop a short distance, although a little clumsily. Early days yet.
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – At 12 mm(1/2 in) long, I just about spotted this little froglet in the garden pond. How quickly it has grown. I spied its younger siblings still with their tails, feeding on algae beneath the water, but this one will now be carniverous as it ventures out onto land for… Read More Venturing Onto Land
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – Life in the garden pond can be quite a challenge. As featured in a previous post, I watched damselflies hunting flies, snatching them out of the air. Now, as newly emerging damselfies are leaving the water where they have been as larvae for the past year or so, I have… Read More Hunting & Hunted
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) – I saw two of these around the garden pond today … and they were on the hunt. Although not power fliers like the larger dragonflies, they were quick and nimble, and I watched one of them snatch a fly out of mid-air. I was quite amazed how they soon got… Read More Hunting Ground
Pyrrhosoma nymphula – I saw three of these around the garden pond fluttering lazily in the sunshine before settling down again. I know they breed in the pond, as I have seen their larvae under the water. © Peter Hillman ♦ 25th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, South Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – I can’t believe what a frenzy of activity is going on in the garden pond at the moment. It is teeming with tadpoles and all of them are scraping algae from the rocks, so much so some of them are virtually picked clean. They have grown so much bigger, too.… Read More Growing Bigger
The tadpoles are growing fast feeding on the algae in the garden pond. Double-click image for a closer look. © Peter Hillman ♦ 8th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – This is an early stage tadpole, and I appear to have zillions of these teeming in my small garden pond at the moment. Note the branch-like appendages either side of the head … these are external gills, which as the tadpole develops will become wrapped in a pocket of skin… Read More Frogs Are Coming
The Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) has gone mad again this year, spreading its roots and sprouting throughout the garden pond. Yet its sweet sugary goodness attracts many insects, so it is always good in that respect. This is one of the last blooms which I wanted to try and capture before they all disappeared with… Read More End of Season Flowers
I have noticed how big the young frogs are now growing in the garden pond. I spied four of them amongst the Water Mint and pond weed poking their heads out the water. Feel free to click the images to enlarge and click again to get even closer … © Pete Hillman August 2019
Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata) – Over the last three years since my garden pond’s inception it has attacted some interesting and beautiful forms of wildlife. Growing Water Mint attracts these attractively coloured little micro moths. The adult moths lay ther eggs on the plants and the hatching caterpillars feed on the leaves. Rear garden, May… Read More Around The Garden Pond
Back in March I discovered clumps of frogspawn in my garden pond which was built 3 years ago in the spring of 2016. You can imagine my excitement as this was the first time I might have my first tadpole nursery! Before I knew it the tadpoles were appearing, and as they grew I noticed… Read More Underwater Grazing
The other night I caught a couple of frogs in and around the garden pond. With temperatures in the high twenties amd touching thirty who can blame them? 🙂 Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer Common Frog Rana temporaria, , July 2018, rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. ©… Read More Frogs Partying In The Night Pool
Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer Sun Fly Helophilus pendulus resting on a stone on the edge of my garden pond. May 2018, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman Sigma 18-300mm.
This is a Long-jawed Orb-weaver Spider Tetragnatha sp. stretched along one of the stalks of my iris which is growing in the garden pond. It apparently somehow knows that the iris is flowering and attracting airborn insects. No doubt, in due course, it will spin a web to attempt to catch them. Click once to… Read More Intelligent Nature
By pure coincidence as I was photographing the garden pond for the previous blog to my joy I had this delightful little visitor alight on the Yellow Flag Iris. It is called the Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, and I had to do quite the balancing act, getting my socks wet more than once, to get… Read More Let’s Have Some Marmalade!
As requested by my blogging friend Vicki (who has a lovely blog called ‘Living With nature’), here are some pics of the garden pond as it has grown and established itself over the past two years. No sun today so very grey and overcast when I took these photos. It’s only very small, but it… Read More Garden Pond After 2 Years
After 3 years since I built my small garden pond and planted this Yellow Flag Iris Iris pseudacorus it has flowered for the very first time to my joy. This is the first bloom, and it looks like there are many more to come. Click once to expand view, click again to get that little… Read More Finally, After 3 Years …
Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula, this evening May 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman Sigma 18-300mm.
These are the first of the Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula I have seen around my garden pond this season. Double click on images to enlarge. May 2018, rear garden pond Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman
Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris, April 2018, rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman
Double click to get closer. Water Mint Mentha aquatica, August 2017, garden pond, Staffordshire, England.
Common Frog (Rana temporaria), September 2017, rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England.
Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata) – I discovered this caterpillar yesterday feeding from a silken retreat on my Water Mint. The larvae feed on all kind of Mint, but this one has taken quite a chance, for the Water Mint is growing in my garden pond, and this caterpillar has found itself on one tall spike… Read More A Risky Business
Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus) mating, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. July 2017.
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans), rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. July 2017
Before I began to write this I thought, shall I just leave folk guessing what this is? Maybe I will, or … we will see … It is taken from quite an unusal angle, and I suppose it looks like some kind of unusual golden screw with spikes or hairs radiating outwards. Yet it is… Read More Propelled
I have been watching these beautiful damselflies for quite sometime as they flitter about my garden pond. The are on the hunt. They will find a favourite perch and then when a small fly comes into their airspace they make a go of catching it. They are not always succesful, but this one was. I… Read More Hunting With The Damselflies
A few more images I manged to take as this Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella), revisted my garden. With the top down view you can see more of its markings, especially the flat-bottomed U-shape mark on segment 2. Rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.
Blue-tailed Damselfly I caught this damsel damselfly basking in sun which was just making it through a cloud covered sky. Please click on an image for a larger more detailed view. Clicking a second time may get you a little closer. Rear garden, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.
One is a start, two is a couple, and three is a party. Pfeiffer’s Amber Snail (Oxyloma elegans). Rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.
Coenagrion puella A new damselfly sighting for me, and in my own backyard. This one was competing for perches around my pond with half a dozen or so Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), and stood his (yes, it is male) ground pretty well. Length 33mm (1in). Similar to other blue damselflies, so care has to… Read More Azure Damselfly
There is still a lot of activity around the garden pond, as can be seen in the above image. Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) mating, rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.
Pfeiffer’s Amber Snail (Oxyloma elegans), appears to have taken up permanent residence on the edge of my back garden pond. Most days, and for weeks, I have seen it on the rocks or on the Yellows Iris. June 2017.
From the female I observed last June laying eggs in my garden pond, to the hatched larvae which lived beneath the still water, to their emergence in spring as adults, and now they have gone a full cycle. Here we have a mating pair of the Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), ensuring the perpetuation of… Read More Gone Full Cycle
Out in my garden in the dark hours my torch fell on the first frog I have seen in my small pond. He or she had slime on its nose but appeared quite happy taking a dip amongst the pond plants. Common Frog (Rana temporaria), rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.
After emerging from my garden pond the damselflies appeared to have gone off to greener pastures. But they appear to be returning back home, and here is one waiting for small flies to come by to snap out of the air to eat as food, resting on an iris leaf stretched across still waters. Large… Read More Over Still Waters
Identifying dragonflies and damselflies can be quite challenge at times, especially as they go through their stages and can have many forms. This is a first for me, and for the garden pond. It is a Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans form rufescens) female immature. The females of this particular species actually come in five colour… Read More A New Visitor To The Pond
Out in the garden this morning, and as always I go to see what’s happening around the pond. I switch on my pump, which has no filter and is open, and helps oxygenate the pond, although I think the oxygenating plants are doing a good job, but the sound and movement of water is always… Read More Just Emerged