With now two months of staying home and staying healthy we have been doing a lot of neighborhood walking. We have a regular route – sometimes we walk it backwards for a change but we do have a regular walking route. The route is about two and a half miles and gives us a good stretch of the legs at least once and sometimes twice a day.
Stillwaters Estates is a great walking neighborhood. A fairly flat neighborhood, with a few hills that can be taken by choice. A lot of sidewalks, but sidewalk walking is rare.
What has been most fun about walking the neighborhood has been seeing wildlife return and occupy the corners and crevices of the property. Most recently we have had a daily view of ducks and ducklings occupying one or more of our retention ponds. Sometimes the parents are forgiving of the stray humans hanging over the fences and watching the duckling activity in awe. Sometimes they hurriedly scurry the ducklings away into the protection of the grasses and cattails.
Bull frogs entertain with their evening bellows and of late they are hauling themselves out of the ponds to sun themselves on the banks. They. Are. Huge!
A few facts about Bullfrogs from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:
- Bullfrogs begin to breed in wetlands, ponds, and shallow lakes between ages four and eight. They breed later in the year than many other frogs.
- A female bullfrog may lay 2,000 to 25,000 eggs on the surface of the water after mating.
- It takes two years for bullfrog tadpoles to develop legs and emerge from the water and three additional years to reach maturity.
- The bullfrog provides the majority of the frog legs for gourmet restaurants.
- While under water, bullfrogs close their nostrils and continue to “breathe” through their skin.
You can learn more about bullfrogs at Minnesota’s DNR site: Bullfrogs
Residents: I hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy the scenery. Families of ducks at the CS Lewis Retention pond have been very outgoing and the frogs, especially at dusk, put on a show.
This is also the perfect time of year to get out and view all the blossoming Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Beautiful colors indeed!