Rain Barrel Residents
My rain barrels are as much of a "must have" for my gardening as my favorite gardening gloves and pick ax. I have several, all connected to my rain gutters so a good rain shower refills them and the overflow continues down gutters into the back wildlife pond. I have spotted turkey, deer, a variety of songbirds including bluebirds, some rabbits - even a mama mouse carrying a baby to the side of the pond for a drink - all visiting the pond through the year.
So I was just a bit startled earlier this spring when I opened up the deck rain barrel lid and met Fred. Fred is a gray tree frog, very common frog species in the Midwest but not usually found in my rain barrels. Fred and I took one good look at each other, decided we were harmless, and I at least gently put the lid back down and waited to see if Fred was going somewhere.
After a few minutes, I peered back in only to find Fred staring back up at me. That's when I knew he was there to stay.
Over the next few months, I was careful when I checked water levels by opening up the deck rain barrel lid not to jar it too much for fear of jostling Fred. Fred would peer at me, no apparent judgement expressed but I couldn't help but think he couldn't be too happy with the disruption. Tree frogs are solitary creatures so who would be happy to be interrupted.
Last week, a new development; Fred has a friend! I named her Fran. She's not used to having me open the deck rain barrel lid so she tends to hop out the top and hide in the nearby dry grapevine wreath. I now try not to open the deck rain barrel lid unless absolutely necessary.
After re-filling the rain barrel earlier tonight, I peeked under the lid and both gray tree frogs were in their little spots so I must not have been too disruptive.
Well, here's to love. These two have found each other and not over a barrel but in one!