Leaping Leopard Frogs

Nicole Rogers

Leaping Leopard Frogs

3 min.
September 7, 2021

Ker-plop! Ker-plop! Ker-plop! Little Leopard Frogs leapt for their little lives as the lawn mower blade buzzed dangerously close to their home. This was the backyard scene as I mowed last Sunday afternoon. Even though I didn’t want to inspire such fright in this frog family, I did enjoy the sight of the leaping and plopping into the sweet little frog pond I created in the Spring. 

It was one of the first warm weekends of Spring when I had the insuppressible urge to dig in the dirt which soon turned into the desire to create a frog pond. I indulged this desire and made a trip to Hene Supply to buy some heavy plastic and then to Menard’s to buy several bags of river stone. And then the digging began. 

Creating a Mini-Frog Pond

I did some research on how to attract frogs to my future pond. The suggestion was to make it at least 20 inches deep and have a shallower area on the edge of the pond. I followed the general instructions which also included creating an easy approach to the water and having places for the frogs to hide from predators but, as always, I just winged it.

I began the digging of the pond which was a back breaking mostly because I was not used to such work. After I dug the kidney shaped hole, a layer of heavy plastic filled the space, then a layer of river rock and then pavers finished off the border. The pond was located right under a pipe that pumped out water from the basement, so I just needed to wait for the sump pump to fill it which happened quite often. After the first rainwater filled the pond, I was so excited, but the excitement soon diminished with the water level. Alas, the pond has sprung a leak. So, I scraped out all the rocks and pulled out the liner which was the problem and replaced it with an actual pond liner not just heavy black plastic, lesson learned! 

The grand girls were first inhabitants of the tiny pond. They pulled on their rubber boots and waded in the water and threw rocks which had frogs, fish, turtles, and mermaids drawn on them into the clean clear water. As they tossed the stones, they shouted, “look a frog just jumped in the pond” and giggled, thinking they pulled something over on Mimi. When the weather warmed, they ditched their boots and took the pond in their bare feet. This was a great test of the new liner which held up beautifully.

First Frog Spottted

Was it June or July? Can’t quite remember when the first real frog came to make my backyard pond it’s home. It was a majestic (well, in my mind) Leopard frog. It sat floating carefree in the middle of the pond, legs dangling loosely as if enjoying having the space to itself. The sight the lounging leopard frog brought a smile to my face each time I glanced out the window at it. I don’t know why, it just did. I guess I chalk it up to the simple pleasures of life. It quieted my busy mind and connected me to something pure and natural and deliciously nonpolitical. There was no disputing the fact that there is a leopard frog living in my pond, it was real, and it gave me real joy. The grand girls’ eyes popped the first time they saw our spotted friend and I could tell it brought them wonder. I hope it sparked a connection to something magical in nature.

The Leopard frog did not spend too much time enjoying the solitude of the pond as Summer progressed. I spotted it shading itself under a large hollyhock leaf one day but kept to itself, hidden most of the time. What happened to my frog in the pond? I worried that all our prying eyes scared it off. 

As it turned out, from my most recent encounter with my little frog pond, our Leopard frog was a mother and was busy creating new life and filled my Autumn pond with her family. I counted seven little Leopard frogs hidden among the algae and grass clippings after the last mowing. And, as you can imagine, this was also a wonderful sight to see which brought all kinds of emotional and spiritual connections to mind but, above all, it just sparked a smile which sometimes is worth more than any other in-depth inspirational thoughts. 

Keeping on the sunny side can be as easy as seeking and appreciating the little things in nature like leaping Leopard frogs.

This article was orginally reported by
Nicole Rogers

Nicole Rogers, lives in Owen, WI, and is the co-editor for the Sentinel & Rural News.