Phase one of Operation Spawn of Ponsonby is now almost complete (and we’re talking about popping out frogs, not sprogs, here, in case that headline was misleading); the ultimate goal of Operation Spawn of Ponsonby being, of course, the establishment of a self-sustaining population of frogs, fish and (hopefully) freshwater crayfish in the gaping industrial pond known as the Ponsonby Sohole. Check out my awesome wine barrel frog-pond:
This is what I’m going to use to get my seed population going, prior to releasing frogs fish and crayfish into the Sohole. Think of it as kind of like the Genesis bomb in Star Trek 2: the Wrath of Khan (or just a barrel of frogs, if you’re not a nerd).
Phase One of OSoP is all about getting the pond ready for its inhabitants, and has been proceeding at cracking pace, with notable achievements being:
- Sawing the barrel in half
- Filling it with chlorinated tap water
- Letting the tap water stand in sunlight to break down the chlorine
- Introducing an attractive lotus to the water, plus assorted plants
- Reeling in disgust at the sulphurous stench of anaerobic decay that immediately sprang up from the rotting lotus roots
- Squirting in some “healthy bacteria” from the fish shop which made the stink disappear and the water clarify
- Sealing a few leaks with No-more-gaps which – said the man from Mitre 10 – “will definitely kill fish”, but which the Operation Spawn of Ponsonby commander-in-chief reckons will be “sweet as”
- Painting over the ugly white No-more-gaps with a badly-matched brown paint, and launching a PR campaign to convince the OSoP sub-committee that her wine barrel was not, actually darling, “completely ruined”
Sorted. And now the final objective of Phase One is to purchase a solar-powered aerator for the pond – which – and this may be tricky – will require the presence of the sub-committee.
You see Operation SoP is very similar to the American Operation Cyclone during the 1980s, which provided arms to the Afghani Muhajadeen who were fighting the Soviets. That scheme sourced its funds from a Congress that was paranoid about the spread of communism and, likewise, Operation Spawn of the Ponse is being black-budgeted via other domestic projects – notably Operation Buy Me a Valentines Day Fish.
If all goes well on the funding front, though, we’ll be ready for Phase Two: sourcing frogs, fish and crays.
Fish are easy – I’ll get them from the pet shop. And crays should be no trouble, as I know a few streams in the Waitakeres that have populations; but frogs I’m at a loss on. So does anyone – ANYONE – know a pond where I could get tadpoles or frog spawn?
If you do, flick me a line, or send a google maps reference please. Your country needs you!