|Top pool which overflows to create the waterfall into the pond|
I ruled out possibility a. by close examination of the tadpoles in question and could determine no sign of climbing boots. In any case, there were no feet to put them on. The more I thought about it, the more unlikely that option seemed. Also, imagine the conversation;
"'Ey, pass the belay device, Tad"
"Oops, sorry Tad - forgot to bring it - let's have an alga butty", say six voices. And this brings another difficulty regarding working in teams - they all have the same name. Derived from middle English, 'tad' means 'toad' and 'pol' is 'head' and goes some way to explaining Mrs Thatcher's poll tax, although I'm damned if I know why parrots are always called Polly. The comment about alga raises further questions: read any advice about what to feed pet tadpoles on and top of the list is boiled lettuce. Boiled lettuce????? Where the hell does a tadpole get lettuce, let alone a boiled one? And who found out that they like it? Somewhere there must be a bloke who's devoted his career to tadpoles, trying different menus and maybe conducting psychological studies. Tadpoles in normal circumstances eat plant material, small insects and even each other if times get hard. Drop a bit of Spam in the pond and they'll demonstrate their lack of discernment by descending on it in hoards.
That left option b. and the difficulty here was the fact that there is a filter on the pump to stop it getting clogged with weed and other detritus. I can only think that tadpole body structure at an early age is so flexible that they can be squeezed through the workings of the pump without being damaged. Admittedly some of them did look a bit punch-drunk but apart from that seemed unmarked. Maybe they sported other injuries like black eyes but it's hard to make out a black eye on a tadpole.
As I watched, they departed in the water rushing over the edge back into the pond. They seemed to be taking turns at doing it, bringing to mind the water chute at one of those woodland holiday resorts we once took our kids to. When I moved closer and held my breath I swear I heard them shouting wheeeee! as they went over the edge.
|Waterfall with water hawthorn|
|Water hawthorn (Aponogeton distachyos)|
|Duckweed (Lemna minor)|
Successfully getting completely rid of duckweed is an unlikely scenario, due to the potential of each single plant to so quickly replicate. Its sudden appearance in your pond can be explained either by the fact that the sticky roots have adhered to birds feet and plumage or, in some cases, the introduction of new oxygenating plants which have the odd bit of duckweed attached. Either way, compromise and learn to live with the little floater. The tadpoles like it.
For information about frogbit, a plant with apparent relevance to the tadpolian nature of this blog, go to Frogbit.