Exploring British Pond Life
Visiting a local pond this spring and summer.
A Pond Throughout the Seasons
On one of our regular nature walks we pass by three small ponds managed by the Canal and River Trust. The ponds are hidden away between our local canal and an industrial site. I love this little patch of nature and wildlife. We make sure to walk through it at all times of the year. Getting to see the variety of changes throughout the seasons it always amazing.
Spring and summer are definitely our favourite times of year to observe the ponds and enjoy them being part of our local area. Spring is a time of year when nature thrives and there is an abundance of interesting things for us to see and observe. Occasionally we head to the ponds intentionally with our art materials and the boys spend time drawing what they see. Other visits are less organised and we just talk about what we see or take photographs.
Fun Pond Facts
Here are a few fun facts about ponds:
Drought Destroying Ponds?
Over the last few months one of our trio of ponds has slowly been drying up. From the photograph above you can see the dry and cracked land around it. The effects of climate change are happening in front of our eyes and right here on our doorstep. Seeing the pond like this saddens me and provides the perfect opportunity to talk to Harry and Teddy about climate change and the real global concern of rising temperatures and droughts. There are no plants currently growing in this pond and the water lies still, without any visible living animals under or above the water surface. Even with the occasional rain the cracked land will not be able to recover immediately and without proper care the pond could be lost forever.
On this past visit we were lucky enough to meet a team from the Canal and River Trust working to save the pond! We met a lovely lady named Kate, who explained to the boys what they were doing. Thankfully, the canal is directly next to these ponds and that day they were working to direct water from the canal into the pond. This is one way they can work to protect the plant and animal wildlife habitats that rely so heavily upon such bodies of water.
Why Are Ponds Such Great Habitats?
In the springtime the ponds are often full of life, it is the perfect habitat for animals and plants to mature. The reeds grow tall and the lily pads float on the surface of the water. Mostly, we love spotting the different animals and insects around the pond.
We have seen pond snails, tadpoles, pond skaters, water boatman, butterflies and our favourite, dragonflies. It took us a long time to capture a photograph of a dragonfly, they move so fast and camouflage so easily! But they are wonderfully beautiful.
The Life Cycle of a Frog
A couple of months ago we discovered frogspawn in the pond, hidden in a corner of the pond amongst some reeds. On this visit we managed to see tadpoles swimming around. As of yet we have not seen any froglets or frogs around the ponds, it is possibly too early or they are cleverly hiding somewhere safe, from both humans and predators.
Being able to observe the Lifecycle of a Frog first hand is amazing and I appreciate that I am able to share this with Teddy and Harry. They are excited to see the animals living in the pond, to find out more about them and help to protect their habitats.
A Frog or a Toad in the Garden?
Two days ago we found the most amazing thing! Whilst gardening, Jeffrey came across this little guy! We think it was a toad as it seemed to have a roundish body and bumpy skin. By its size I assume it was only a young toad so after a quick ‘hello’ we placed it back in the flowerbed to hop away.
To find out more about identifying and comparing frogs and toads, watch my video:
Tips For Pond Dipping
Pond dipping is fun and children can take a closer look at the animals living in this habitat. However, it is important that we take care of the ponds and don’t harm the animals and plants living there. Here are a few tips to follow when pond dipping:
Here are some of our related topics, full of hands-on nature activities for your child to enjoy.