In case you didn’t know it, we have a little pond here at Earthshine. It’s got some bluegill, a few catfish, and at least one snapping turtle. Walk down in the early stillness of a summer morning and you might catch a glimpse of a blue heron, stopping in for a quick bite before heading off to the French Broad River. Oh, and our pond also has lots and lots of frogs.
In the summer, the big bullfrogs stick to the thorn bushes, and they’ll plunk down into the water if you don’t walk up slow and soft. Tadpoles like the warm, shallows near the edges of the pond. They’re a little easier to sneak up on, but they’ll disappear into the murky deep water at the first hint of danger.
You might have seen tadpoles before, but have you ever seen bullfrog tadpoles? They have a body about the size of a golf ball. And unlike some species of frog that transition from tadpole to adults in a single season, American bullfrog tadpoles stay tadpoles for three to four years. In the early summer, there’s usually a few hundred tadpoles all around the shallows. Check out the video below for some awesome tadpole action!
By the end of the season though, you won’t find nearly that many. And you’ll find those that remain are quick and cautious. Any tadpole that manages to survive a couple years dodging bluegill, catfish, snapping turtles, the occasional blue heron, and even big old full grown bullfrogs has to be good at hiding and great at escaping when hiding doesn’t work!