Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Frog's New House

My raspberry patch is not terribly huge. It is about 4'x6. Though as you can see, the canes droop down and enlarge their area. The one that arcs into my car attacks me everytime I need to get in the door. I have to be careful when I move it to get in so that I don't accidentally grab a bumble bee or wasp.

This morning the raspberry patch was a happening place. I saw two frogs instead of one this morning. One was an inch long (in the photo) and the other was just 3/4". Such a cute tiny little guy. In the photo it looks like a big fat frog, but the leaf he is standing on is a raspberry leaf, so you can get an idea of how small he really is. Since I got a photo and had time to look at them, I'm guessing they are spring peppers. But they aren't peeping and it's not spring. Not that I'm complaining, but what are they doing here? I've never had a frog in my garden before.

I'm wondering if it is the road construction across the street. That side of the street has a wetlands way back behind. I've seen tadpoles in the vernal ponds there. The birds back there are really something too - or were. Maybe the clearing of all the brush and trees for the road forced them to find a new home. The thought makes me worried for them. I know they aren't building within a hundred feet of the wetlands, because they didn't want to get a permit for that, but peepers need their trees too.

In the vegetable garden I saw a peeper last night while slug snipping. I wonder if they eat slugs. He was perched on the top of the compost bin. Under him on the ground was a swarm of slugs. Hmm a herd of slugs? A tribe of slugs? I suppose it really ought to be a slime of slugs, but I digress. One of the slugs was huge - over two inches long. And he was orange brown. Then I found two more of the monsters. Ack. I haven't been out slug hunting in too many days. I saw a toad one night and decided he ought to be eating my slugs, so I stopped. But the amphibians just aren't up to the challenge.

This morning in the veggie garden I had the sorry chore of harvesting the last zucchini and pulling out the plant. The experimental late planted squash got pulled too. It was a failed experiment. They were covered in mildew so I figured they weren't going to last. I think fall is just not squash season here. The mildew likes the cooler weather. All that is left is the yellow squash. I snipped off all the infected leaves. Maybe I'll get one more harvest from it before its demise. Just maybe.

While I was there I looked at the dehostaed bed. It grates on me to leave the job half finished. So I worked on it a little more. It used to have rocks that raised the bed up, but I wanted the bed raised even higher and didn't like how much width the rocks took up. So I removed the rocks in the back of the beds and replaced them with brick pavers. I snitched the pavers from another section of the garden. Two from a small path, that I immediately repaved with some of the rocks. Paths looks so pretty with rock pavers. The brick ones aren't nearly as nice. The others I snitched from another path (part of which you can see in the photo). I'll just mulch that area. Most of my paths are just mulched unless they travel through a bed.

I also ripped out the oregano (sorry wasps) and the chives that I'm not keeping and trimmed back the dianthus. Now I really want to double dig this bed and put in lots of compost. The silly pumpkin vine just won't let me. I keep looking at the pretty pumpkin. It seems like it is full size to me, but it won't start turning. I may just decide to dig around the vine and put in the compost next to it. If you hadn't noticed I tend to have some obsessive tendancies. I start something and I'm consumed by it. I don't want to quit until it is done. It really bugs me that I can't finish it NOW. I tell myself it is because I want the compost to decay more (which is true, root crops don't do well with too fresh compost), but the reality is I just want to finish.


  1. That raspberry bush/plant looks huge to me. When is a good time to trim it? I cut my boysenberry bush all the way down, and now its growing again. Lol. The frog was cute.

  2. It depends upon which kind of raspberry you have. Mine are ever bearers which means they bear twice a year. Some people (and my local raspberry farm) treat ever bearers like fall bearers, since that is the time they bear the best. Then you just cut all the canes down when they are dormant. This is the easiest. I think you are supposed to do it around February.

    Or you can try to get two batches of berries out of them like I do. BTW if you have summer bearers this is also the best way to prune since they fruit on last years canes. The year old canes grow and produce at the beginning of July (for my zone and my variety). As soon as they are finished, I cut them down and thin out the new canes that have grown up in between them. I try to space the canes at least six inches apart. But in reality I look at how the canes are growing and pick the strongest of them, so sometimes leave two canes really close together. I want air to get between the canes, not much but some. Our weather can often be wet (which raspberries love) so air and lack of competition keeps them healthier.

  3. I'm glad you were able to id your little frog(s). They sure are cute when they are little like that. I wonder what they are doing there too. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't from the consctruction like you mentioned. At least they can find shelter in your garden for now.

  4. I'm not actually positive on my id. But I'm going with it since I don't think they are New England Tree frogs - still not positive. It is fun in the mornings now to see them in weird places. I now have one living in my pole beans. I guess they could be considered short trees.