THIS AMERICAN BULLFROG in her pond has dismayed the Duchess of Dirt.

THIS AMERICAN BULLFROG in her pond has dismayed the Duchess of Dirt.

Bullfrogs and raccoons in the garden

Drat! There is another American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) in our pond.

Drat! There is another American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) in our pond.

Had thought we dealt with all of them just over a year ago. It is a big one but luckily not to its full potential size of eight inches and 1.8 pounds. And thankfully, only the one…so far.

It is possibly becoming a problem…this bullfrog appearing in our pond. It means there are smaller ones still developing, methinks.

In their normal, more southern habitat, metamorphosis takes just a few months. Here in their new northern range, it can take up to three years. So we may have jumped the gun in thinking we had gotten rid of all them last year.

Bullfrogs have a prolonged breeding season in spring, lasting up to three months. Females can lay between 20,000 and 25,000 eggs.

Mind-boggling compared to the measly 5,000 to 6,000 eggs our native red-legged frog lays.

They are voracious eaters, preying on frogs, fish fry, snakes, turtles, rodents, as well as insects, which are the usual diet of ranid frogs. And being particularly unpalatable to many of the local frog predators…you get some idea how effectively this invasive non-native frog species is rather successively taking over the general landscape and calling it home.

Be forewarned, however. If you do find American bullfrogs in your pond it is illegal, provincewide, to release bullfrogs anywhere in the wild.

• • •

Not just bullfrog problems around here lately either.

The raccoons have been making regular nocturnal visits the last few days to check out our grapes…picking the ones that suit their tastebuds. The varmints have already scooped the very few plums we had at the very top of our dying Italian prune plum tree earlier this summer.

Bad enough the coons snapped the branches in the plum tree reaching for the fruits but now they are knocking the apples off the spartan tree climbing up to get onto the grape arbour. At the other end of the arbour, the varmints are using our rain barrels and the downspout to climb up.

Nice of us to provide such great natural ladders, don’t you think?

Because we have seen what these critters can do with too many grapes in their systems…both front end and back end…we now remove the fruits before we get to that stage.

Better to bury the grapes in the compost pile…away from the house…where the animals cannot do too much damage.

I know, I know. How dare we remove the grapes before they are ripe?

But truth be known, like almost every other fruit on this property, this grape is not of our planting. And it is most definitely NOT a table grape.

Pucker power extraordinaire…even at full ripe if we can get them to that stage before the coons come visiting. And waiting to a frost does little to improve their palatability.

Wine, you say? Well, let’s just say John and I are better at drinking wine than making it.

• • •

One last positive note…weather is co-operating for the end of the season. Harvesting in the veggie garden continues. Still lots coming on.

But I am also looking around the rest of the garden at what seeds are ready to be harvested. Need to gather some more varieties while everything is still dry. (Remember: don’t forget to label your seeds as you collect each type!)

And it is also time to collect the last of the herbs to be dried and put away for winter use. Sun is weakening a bit so fall is a good time to gather a few sprigs of thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage, savory, tarragon, etc.

Tie each one up separately with a bit of string and hang in the window to dry. Scents up the room delightfully.

Leslie Cox co-owns Growing Concern Cottage Garden in Black Creek. Her website is at www.duchessofdirt.ca and her column appears every second Thursday in the Record.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Strathcona Waste Management expects to go to tender this summer for the regional organics compost facility in Campbell River. File photo/Black Press
Comox Strathcona compost site should go to tender this summer

The regional organics facility is on target to open for the fall of 2022

The site of the King George Hotel in Cumberland. Photo by Mike Chouinard
VIU students research Cumberland’s past, future

Specific practicum topics were King George Hotel’s significance, densification incentives

Courtenay–Alberni MP Gord Johns says 12 million Canadians do not have dental insurance. Photo by Bofu Shaw, courtesy of Unsplash
Courtenay–Alberni MP, CDA consider dental care for all Canadians

Gord Johns has initiated a mail-out that asks constituents the date of… Continue reading

A 407 Squadron CP-140 Aurora, along with a Halifax-Class frigate enforce United Nations sanctions against North Korea in support of Op Neon in 2019. Canadian Forces photo/submitted
407 Squadron defends Canada for 80 years

The Comox-based squadron celebrating special anniversary

Jasmine Francoeur from Comox is an aviation technician for the Snowbirds air demonstration team. Photo by Canadian Forces/submitted
Comox’s Jasmine Francoeur’s career comes full circle with the Snowbirds

“To fly out here, fly into my hometown, it’s very special and I feel very lucky”

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Most Read