It's said that frogs are a sign of a healthy garden. The season started here with a few frogs hopping among my plants this spring. Then I noted a few more of the spotted green amphibians known as Northern Leopard Frogs in my water feature and a smaller fountain. I was so glad to see them already established and thriving in my new landscape.
Then I happened to look down into the window well located alongside the raised beds of my kitchen garden. Eight feet down I counted eight frogs sitting on the pebbles at the bottom of the well by my son's bedroom. Heading to the basement I looked out the window at below ground level and counted the frogs again, only to see the dead leaves shiver with the possibility of even more frogs hiding underneath them.
Thinking like a human I worried that these frogs all hopped into the window well and became trapped, unable to get out. I started to calculate frogs per square inch, concerned that the supply of insects and spiders might run low. But how to help them out? Or were they happy in this damp buggy haven?
I lowered a nearby vine into the well without success. Next I placed a ladder into the hole thinking they could hop out on the steps. No takers though. Around this time my son came home between his summer job and college starting. We discussed the frog removal issue. He was glad I abandoned my original plan to open window and herd them into a plastic bin. There could have been a few escapees in his room.
He came on board when they started flinging themselves against his window every time it rained.
Enter the frog wranglers! My husband and son gently scooped frogs out of the window well with a long handled rake. Hours later the frogs were back in the window well. And there they remain. However the numbers change, five one day, twelve another. The population might be steady with some hiding under the leaves. Some are brown now rather than the bright green shade. Are they changing colors? Or is there a spectrum of colors among the frogs in the garden? Lots of froggy questions.
As cold weather approaches I'm left wondering what the frogs will do. Meanwhile I'm proud to know that frogs are so plentiful in my garden. Biodiversity in the garden is always my goal. I don't use pesticides hoping that beneficial insects and natural controls maintain a healthy balance in my garden. The wealth of frogs tells me I'm doing something right.