Thirteen days after we first noticed the frogspawn, the tadpoles have hatched. And there are masses and masses of them at the moment but thats good since they are well down the food chain and will be viewed as a tasty meal by oh so many things that live in the pond.
Frogs get started with mating and spawning really early in the year, gambling that the weather will be kind to them, so that this stage when the tadpoles are at their most vulnerable can take place before the predators wake up.
The tadpoles have hatched but they are still all collected together eating the now emptied jelly – its been three days since the hatch out started but they are still all amassed.
We have a waterproof camera and we experimented with taking pictures under the water. This is not a perfect arrangement since you need to still press the button with your finger under the water and you have to guess at what you are taking since you cannot see – but some of the results are not bad:
Soon all these little animals will disperse and go off to mature and grow at the bottom of the pond and we will catch glimpses of them through the summer as they bask in the mud on warm days, gradually growing their limbs and reabsorbing their tails and gills until, in a few months time, they will be hopping about as little frogs in the grass. Lots of perils ahead of them throughout this process and I hope a few of them make it.