Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Year of the Frog

Have you noticed that sometimes there appears to be a population explosion of some flower, bug or critter in your garden? Last year was a great year for skippers while the butterfly population seemed lower than usual. The year before that, there were so many dragonflies.

This year was the year of the frog.

One of the most amazing things we discovered about this house when we moved in 12 years ago was the presence of tree frogs. The house came with a swimming pool; we went swimming the first night (it was July) and dozens of tree frogs jumped in to join us!

Tree frogs (Hyla species) are smaller than the frogs I normally associate with wet areas (like my neighbor's pond). Ours are light gray in color with wonderful mottling. They have hands and feet with noticeably sticky pads for clinging.

Sometimes I find other frogs, large, dark-green ones mostly hanging out in the pool, and those I try to relocate to my neighbor's pond so that the pool chemicals don't do them in. Others hang around in between my plant pots, startling me when they jump out as I'm watering or rearranging.

I'm always glad to have them (and the toads). It makes me feel like I'm doing something right if they are finding what they need here. (Click on any of the pictures to make them larger.)


  1. It's nice that you're getting into frogs! You have two species in you photos: the one in the middle right of the group of six is a Green treefrog (Hyla cinerea); the others all seem to be Cope's gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis), most of them recently emerged from their tadpole stage. If you're not careful those froggies will make a zoologist out of you.

  2. They're so cute!
    I was turning up frogs and toads in the duff while I was cleaning the muscadine vines and smilax and blackberry briars out of my yard (during the recent rains)... Wish I'd taken pictures...