Nature's Place

Two Things About Frogs

They do travel in the rain. And they do take shelter from the wet when they’ve had enough of it.

Last night I checked around the veranda as I usually do once the small creatures start showing up. I found one toad and dealt with it and was on my way to the fridge in the garage when I noticed movement on the floor near the wall. I shone the light on it and it was one of those striped frogs, a young one, or just a small one – you never can tell, except sometimes.

I put the toad down and picked the frog up to put him somewhere with longer term prospects for his survival. I have a small undercover garden where I put all sorts of shade plants, plants that need shade and plants that provide shade, and shelter. It’s along one side of the covered area at the back of the house.

I put stripy on the stag fern just at the lip of the darkened leaves in the middle of it. Then I looked down to push the on button on the camera, I always take the camera with me to check for the little ones, and as soon as I looked up to him I saw him climb into the dark recesses of the fern and disappear. Poof! Gone! Just like that.

So I went back to the garage and put the toad in the freezer. I was back at the screen door when I noticed movement again. I bent down and there was a dainty looking green tree frog on the rails of the sliding doors. That’s a dangerous place to rest, for any creature, on the rails. Because chances are something will come along and run over you, be it a door or a train.

I picked him up after wetting my hand in rainwater, just in case there was any salt on my hands – salt burns frogs, or any wet absorbent skinned creature. He had beautiful golden eyes. After a few seconds he suddenly jumped and I could feel the pressure of his little feet on my hand, whoosh – that’s the sound of jumping suddenly, and landed on the screen door with a little slap of his body, just at the top left of the cat flap. See how spread out his right back toes are to grip the smooth surface of the plastic cat flap. And how his other toes are curled to grip the loose flyscreen material. Amazing creatures. Not a good place to rest either.

I picked golden eyes up again and brought him over to the same fern and placed him on the log the fern is attached to, sitting on top and to the left. I looked down again to turn on the camera and when I looked up he was gone. Disappeared. I couldn’t see him at all, he just vanished into the greenery around him. Very effective camouflage I’d say, or my eyes are worse than ever. Bit of both maybe?

I had a good look with the torch and I used a bamboo stick to gently disturb the undergrowth but there was no sign of him at all. So I let it go. I had to let it go because I was getting attached to getting a photo of this one in the nature. So I left it to life, if I was to get such a photo life would present the opportunity.

I went back inside the house and did a few things, downloaded the pix, put some food for the cat. And when I was going to turn off the light so I could just sit in the darkened peaceful room listening to the rain I looked down and there was another of these dainty tree frogs in the same position on the cat flap on the door at the spot where the last one had ended up. Amazing.

So I got the camera again and went outside once more. This one was smaller than the last and I brought her straight over to the fern. This one is a she, I can tell. I put her down and looked down to turn on the camera and when I looked up she was gone. Again! Well, this time I had a better sense of the frog, having seen it a couple times so far and when I searched around for it I sighted it very quickly. But it was still almost invisible in the green around it.

I was pleased to have these three visitors come calling. That’s life. I wonder if they will call again.

A very busy frog night indeed.



All copyright reserved / Mark Berkery


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