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paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I am thinking that once we build ponds up at the lab we will get oodles of frogs. But it occurred to me the other day that I would like to hear the frogs at basecamp. And we don't have much water at basecamp.

What might bring the frog song to basecamp?
 
Dale Hodgins
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Some frogs never venture far from water, while others migrate during moist weather.

Some toads are quite vocal. They are better adapted for life away from open water. Create an environment where toads thrive, and most soft bodied pests will be kept in check. Toads need water for breeding, but can travel further from it than most frogs can.
 
John Elliott
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paul wheaton wrote:

What might bring the frog song to basecamp?


A good 2" thunderstorm. We had one the other day, and the dry hole that now has a foot of water in it is full of frogs' eggs. In a few more days, I will have tadpole soup out in the yard.
 
Julia Winter
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Perhaps a small pond, fed by gray water?

The washing machine drains into a reed field that has a little pond at the bottom, maybe.
 
Robert Selzler
Posts: 2
Location: Lewiston, Idaho
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I'm just over the mountains to your west, Paul. In Lewiston our property is super dry and we get lots of toads hanging out in our strawberry and mint groundcover. I've even had to move them out of the star thistle (cursed stuff) as I mow it down, because I'm a big softy. We've never had frogs that I've seen; it's my understanding that frogs need to live near water, but toads don't. Of course, everyone here calls both toads and frogs "frogs," just like any non-honeybee stinging insect is generally called a "yellow jacket." Not sure if you are following the same colloquial pattern and are okay with toads or are looking for true frogs.

If you are okay with toads, I would load up on groundcover and cats. The cats will probably kill a toad (I have yet to see ours take much interest in them, but they love to terrorize rabbits and rarely snakes) but they certainly do put pressure on the rodent population, which discourages snakes, and it is my understanding that snakes love toads and frogs. Plus, a cat is just a pleasurable companion for when you take your mint to make some tea and sit on the porch at night to enjoy dusk and listen to frogs/toads. Just my two cents from someone a few steps over...
 
Dean Howard
Posts: 126
Location: NE ARIZONA, Zone 5B, 7K feet, 24" rain
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I know some people who might take the digital voice recorder, or digital camera down to a pond and record about 15 minutes of wonderful ribbets and croaks. Bring it home and duplicate it until it fills an entire amphibious CD, sit back and enjoy....

or, you could go to YouTube and download one of these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afESnrTiLks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdKf7rT6kK4
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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We have tons of frogs here in Dry arse Wyoming. In fact every year my husband and I trow drying up puddles on the road for baby tadpoles every year. Then we bring them home, raise them up and release them to the waterless wild. They ONLY seek water to spawn. Guess that makes them toads They are tiny little frogs to me.
 
Mj Raichyk
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We made a frog pond as the final stage of our complete sanitation system. We did Jenkins style composting toilets plus the kitchen offal compost buckets and ran all the rest of the waste water into a subsurface constructed wetlands -- about 50 ft long (from infiltrator to collection well) x 3ft deep and 4 ft wide with graded river gravel over bigger rocks at the bottom. The water at the collection well end (where the pump hung to pump the water to the frogs' pond area -- all level, no downhill or we'd have used gravity) was tested multiple times by the local hi-tech EPA lab and shown to have been cleaner than the creeks of the county... the frogs liked it well enough and we'd see little faces on window screens, hiding behind shutters and all sorts of places.

We do seem to adopt all the cats that come and make friends but we keep them inside mostly so I don't think their rodent-control outdoors is the reason the frogs are singing.... Mind you, the health department's regulator didn't like it, but that was loaded with all sorts of crime stories that the Sheriff's department said was the dirty laundry of the Health Department and would not be on their to-do list.... So you see, we're converting the sanitation system 'a bit'... More on that later.... Just thought you'd like to know how well constructed wetlands work (winter/summer/all year) with frog ponds.......

Methodology for construction is at cighe.net/ExperimentalSanitationSystem/index.html
 
Thekla McDaniels
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When I returned to my home here in the Western Colorado desert, it was just light dry sand. I began irrigating, and immediately got toads, more every year. Now I have "millions".

Lots of great suggestions on devising moisture already written.

Probably you have plenty of insects for them to eat, but I notice that where I leave a porch light on, or outside a lighted window the toads gather to chow down. In a former home next to a creek, the little frogs used their suction cup toes to stick themselves to the outside of the lighted window, we LOVED sneaking up on them to watch them eat. So maybe that's an idea: in addition to the moisture, devise something that will concentrate their food on a regular basis. Then you can see who shows up to eat.

Thekla
 
Richard Gorny
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Location: Poland, zone 5
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I'm on top of a sandy hill and water is 600 meters away, and 6-8 meters downslope. There were no frogs or toads whatsoever. Toads moved in after we have established first garden. Frogs showed up when we added a small pond by herb spiral (fed by roof rainwater). Tree frogs, very rare here and endangered species really, showed up year later. All of them are visible, roam through the garden but they do not spawn here, so their voices are still coming from a distant places by the river.
 
Daniel Kern
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I buried a bathtub, and now some frogs like to live in and around that. With some thought about landscaping the whole thing could be made beautiful... But right now all I've got is a bathtub in the ground. It's also a breeding ground for mosquitoes but what isn't during the Texas summer. Also if I throw a few fish in there that should take care of the mosquitoes.
 
ronie dee
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Location: NW MO
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I will trade all my frogs for your sounds of silence without croaks. (You must take the locust too.)
 
August Hurtel
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My guess would be to find a low point where water would go if it was there, and then pile up a bunch of rocks for condensation. I can't remember the word for it- I am pretty sure you are the one who told me about it on one of your podcasts.

You may have to go get frogs. If you do, you ought to test them to make sure they are loud. It is no use doing all this stuff and ending up with mute frogs.

UPDATE: My brain finally kicked in- it is called an air well.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Daniel Kern wrote:I buried a bathtub, and now some frogs like to live in and around that. With some thought about landscaping the whole thing could be made beautiful... But right now all I've got is a bathtub in the ground. It's also a breeding ground for mosquitoes but what isn't during the Texas summer. Also if I throw a few fish in there that should take care of the mosquitoes.


I have dog waterers, those indestructable rubber tubs, and sometimes a toad gets in and can't get out. I wonder if that could happen to the unlucky toad that might happen into your bathtub. I've learned to make a toad ladder escape, just something that they can climb up onto, a rock or a brick or a paver resting on the bottom, and against the rim. (I do the same thing with the 4 inch deep waterer I use for the chickens when there are chicks, too many drowned chicks in my past.)

So, if the tub has steep smooth sides and there are both toads and frogs in the area, a person might want to consider some kind of escape..
 
Tony Thomas
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Location: boise, idaho
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I would like to stock our area with frogs and toads. Has anyone purchased stocking populations before? Any ideas on where to get frogs and toads for shipping?
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Tony,
I'd be really careful about importing amphibians from elsewhere to your area. My concerns have to do with the introduction of non native species and the potential for competition to work to the disadvantage of the natives in your region. That could be through pathogens they carry with them that the natives are susceptible to, or it could be that the introduced species or strain is more robust and can out compete the natives for the resources.

My suggestion is that you find the nearest populations of local amphibians. Surely, in the Boise area you are not too far from populations of indigenous amphibians. Here in the western Colorado desert I had toads within months of having provided habitat. This morning I saw a tiny (fit on a nickel) toad!

Thekla
 
Hal Hurst
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Location: Willamette valley, Oregon.
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I would be careful about adding fish to eat mosquitoes in your frog pond- they might eat the frog/ toad eggs.
 
Rick English
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Two words - vernal pool:
Vernal Pool Wikipedia

Almost a pond, but they normally go dry a few months each year. Perfect amphibian breeding ground, because fish don't get established. Fewer mosquito problems because it goes dry during the worst of mosquito season. They are normally mush smaller than ponds, so you likely have the limited room at basecamp.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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We had vernal pools in the area where I grew up, shallow depressions as part of the natural contours of the earth, where winter rains collected and then dried up as the dry season progressed. It's a great idea.

There were endemic species of plants in them. You would have a whole new set of environmental factors in the seasonal pool, different plants and their associates.
Thekla
 
Cj Sloane
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A very small pond (3 ft) sounds like a good project for an Ant/Gapper. Or maybe a few and have an Ant/Gapper contest. Best one stays and the losers face getting voted off the island or bulldozed. It might take a year to see which pond draws in the most wild life.
 
Amber Samandulugu
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Here in West Africa there are frogs and mosquitoes everywhere. The frogs populate the moving water and the mosquitoes populate the stagnant water. My advice would be to use a ram pump to create a false stream up a slight incline that fills an artificial ditch. Tadpoles are swimming here in 3/8 inch moving water. Be sure to line the bottom with gravel and plant cattails or any plant you find locally in the wetlands area for cover from predators. I wouldn't make the gravel ditch too deep because frogs live in less than twelve inches of water. Fish like the water deeper and eat anything including each other. The water needs to be clean and free from chemicals because frogs breathe through their skin and are sensitive to environmental destruction of water. So if you plan on using grey water, filter it through wetlands plant filters before releasing it to your frog ditch. They need rocks to rest on just under the surface of the water at the shallow edges. Frogs are also sensitive to UV radiation in their reproductive cycle, so providing shade and cover for them from the sun is also important.
Capturing tadpoles locally and moving them to your pond is the easiest way to introduce your new frogs. New tadpoles can be netted within a week after the first rains come and you hear the frog songs at the wetlands. The new tadpoles need protection from flocks of birds that will fly in and gobble them up, so consider netting the ditch until your population is established with mature adults. Previous writers have mentioned snakes. Water snakes especially like to eat frogs. Be on watch for all the visitors to your ditch! They have come to eat your frogs. Once the tadpoles mature into full adults, you will know your project is a success! May good fortune find its way for you to hear the blessed frog songs!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Wow, Amber, that about covers it!

Thank you
 
Cloey McCollom
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We don't have a pond either - but I have toads . I have a large mostly shaded area that is thickly planted with irises, lilies and periwinkle . I don't treat it with any type of fertilizers or insecticides ( not even DE - although known to be "the safe insecticide" it will dry the skin of turtles and frogs ) no sooner than I realized I had a grub problem and was trying to figure out how to treat it without hurting my turtle ( a wild box turtle that I feed table scraps to, sorta neat he can be across the yard and comes running for food) I had toads move in - now that I know they are there I keep the area they are staying in moist - I spray it down daily with the hose - I also have a hummingbird feeder above it so when the sugar water drips it will attract ants to help provide a food supply
 
Rick English
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I think this post needs vernal pool photos:


Also a quote by Henry David Thoreau from http://www.vernalpool.org/BSW/HDT/index.htm

Vernal Pool - Walden Woods | The very pools, now, soon after the ice has melted, so transparent and of glassy smoothness and full of animal and vegetable life, are interesting and beautiful objects. April 16, 1855
 
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