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 to become internal. Amazing to think that this little fellow, if all goes well, will become a frog! Double-click for a closer peek.
Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 16th March 2020 Place: Rear garden, Staffordshire
Whilst out on a walk this morning along the bank of my local river the first thing I had noticed was that my favourite willow had finally succumbed to the ravages of disease and winter storms. It looked like it had been split asunder by a giant axe as half of it lay torn to one side. But as I looked along the massive bough of the torn section I noticed a strange gooey jelly-like substance coating the moss which cloaked the branch.
It appeared in clumps on one section of the bough, some of it clear, and some of it with small dark irregular spots within the jelly. None appeared on the ground.
I thought ‘frog spawn’ at first, but up a tree? Although half the tree had fallen it was not flat on the ground, but had come to rest against other trees.
Some say this strange gooey substance has come from passing meteors, and others have attached supernatural elements to its appearance.
But a more down-to-earth explanation is most likely. Some birds like herons, buzzards and crows will eat frogs, but they tend to leave the ovaries because the spawn swells massively when it comes into contact with water, which would not be very agreeable to a bird’s digestive system. The spawn is held in glycoprotein, the jelly-like substance, so mystery solved, apparently, without extraterrestrial intervention.