Friday, September 5, 2014

Come On-A My Pad

Come on-a my pad, my pad a come on,
Come on-a my pad, my pad a come on,
Come on-a my pad, my pad, I'm gonna give you tasty bugs,
Come on-a my pad, my pad, I'm gonna give you everything.
(with apologies to Ross Bagdassarian and William Saroyan, writers of
'Come on-a my house', 1939, made famous by Rosemary Clooney, 1961) 

Eddie and I hiked up to Crofton Lake early yesterday morning with our friends Liz and Sasha. A couple of months ago the lake was full of exceptionally large bullfrog tadpoles - an invasive species here - madly swimming everywhere.

Today, the shore and lily pads and reeds were covered with what I assume were baby bullfrogs.  Frogs everywhere!  When Sasha waded into the water for a drink, dozens hopped and splashed their way to safety, but within seconds began clambering back out onto their lily pads.

I only had my little pocket camera with a tired battery, so the photos aren't the best, but the combination of the yellow green of lily pads in fall, the newly refreshed reeds and flowers, and the beautiful blues and greens of the lake, made the area difficult to leave.

Frog among the reeds

Crofton Lake looking north west

Leaf us alone!

Frog on a log

Eddie declined to go in the water, but Sasha enjoyed a wade and a drink:

Across the lake, we could just see the four or five purple martin boxes that have been placed on the trees in the water by the Western Purple Martin Recovery Program, in an attempt to help revive this at-risk species.  Happily,  a pair raised four young here this year, and in the nest boxes on the marine pilings along the Crofton shoreline five more pairs successfully raised 21 young, all of which are now banded.
Purple Martin Boxes

A few more shots of frogs and scenery .... 

More aphids than frogs!

Crofton Lake looking west

Pink or Douglas Spiraea, I think, aka hardhack

Are you finished?

....and it was time to head home.  Enroute, we stopped to look at this beautiful yellow and black caterpillar - a lophocampa maculata, which will hibernate for the winter and next spring turn into a less beautiful Spotted Tussock moth .

Fuzzy lemon and black caterpillar

It was a beautiful morning for a walk to the lake - sunny but cool, a perfect fall day. 
Crofton Lake, south end.


Marie said...

Love the pictures, Jean,as usual, you did a fine job! sure hope that the doggies didn't swallow a frog when they were getting a drink.
Sure nice to have you post!

Caroline Finw said...

These look like American bullfrogs, invasive imported species that is endangering native wildlife.
Does BC Frogwatch know they are in Crofton Lake?

Jean said...

Caroline, you are correct - I first wrote about them when I met a biologist from Victoria at the lake who told me about them. I'm guessing BC Frogwatch already knows (the biologist wasn't with Frogwatch, he was with the Purple Martin recovery group), however I will let them know. Here's the link to my original post on the tadpoles:

Dawn said...

Jean, I miss your posts! I hope you are well and just have too many good things happening to have time to post.