bookends to a great gardening season
WE OPENED THE SEASON HERE WITH A SALAMANDER, whom I’d fished from the little pool out back while mucking out debris. Trusty garden helper and small-game handler Susan held him for his portrait, and we both enjoyed the moment (not sure he did), a special kickoff to spring. This week, as we began fall cleanup, another omen: The littlest frogboy ever hijacked a ride indoors.
“Susan,” I hollered, “I need a hand…literally.” And so as she got him ready for his photo op, extracting him from the bromeliad he was hiding in (the one that used to outside, not inside, the kitchen door), I ran for the camera.
He was hard to key out in the guidebooks, frankly (a step I always take when I meet a new frogboy). He was tiny like a spring peeper, but lacked the typical dark X pattern on his back that they have. And he was too small (and in the wrong ‘hood by many, many miles) to be anything else, or so it seemed.
But finally, thanks to the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology website, I got the secret: He’s a yearling gray treefrog, which accounts for his mere half-adult size. Read more about this changeable creature, whom we gently returned to the place where the houseplant had been, and watched as he hopped through the grass and up a large leaf nearby.
I live for these serendipities: When we began opening up the garden, we were served an Eastern Spotted salamander; when we began closing it, a gray treefrog. Bookends on an eventful debut blogging season, with a red newt and a lot of big, sexy frogboys in between. Magic.