‘HE’S HANDSOME,’ I’ll say, or “Doesn’t she have have great markings?” when someone is here visiting, and we’re at the edge of the water gardens. “How do you know he’s a he or she’s a she?” people always ask, and with the most common species in my yard–green frogs (Rana clamitans) and bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana)–it’s pretty easy, even out of mating season: It’s all in the ears. [read more…]
I shouldn't play favorites, but I guess the amphibian species and especially frogs are my favorite co-inhabitants of the garden, constantly amusing me with their antics and utterances (and eating a good share of unwanted pests).
THE OTHER NIGHT a newt ambled in after supper as if to join us for dessert. That morning, a pair of garter snakes had poked their heads up, periscope-style, from a stone wall. And nonstop frogpond madness: seven rambunctious male green frogs are fighting over one poor female. All are signs of a healthy garden where no chemicals are used, but also signal to me how important it is to make room for change in life: to shed a little skin, perhaps, or to try a change of venue every now and again (as do amphibians, which means “both lives”–in their case, land and water). Some photos of my provocative little friends. [read more…]
SWIMSUIT SEASON got under way last week in near-80 degree weather, but I hope the wide-awake amphibian darlings out back didn’t pack away their winter coats, since 16 degrees is forecast Monday night. As usual, the wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) got the party started, quacking madly and even doing you-know-what right out in plain view. How immodest! A little slideshow of the bawdy bunch–the frogs of March. [read more…]
THANKS TO SO MANY OF YOU who have emailed or otherwise been in touch asking about how we fared here with Tropical Storm Irene. I measured more than 7.5 inches of rain in my gauges from middle of the night Saturday through Sunday afternoon; up to 10 had been forecast. But somehow other than 6-plus inches in the basement, the storm went through without major damage–a fact I cannot explain except to say it’s all mere chance, as unpredictable as every day in every life. I’m grateful to remain perched on my hillside, with the frogs huddled high and dry in the pine boughs just as they were (above) while we waited Saturday for it all to begin. I am more than anything wishing for quick relief for those hit harder up and down the storm’s enormous path, including, I imagine, some of you.
ICAN’T IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT THEM. The frogs, I mean. Each seems to have his or her own personality–or at least to me they do. Some are showoffs, others loners, and though all those in these images are in the species green frog, or Rana clamitans, look how their colorations and markings vary. A new slideshow of some of my dear friends. [read more…]