they’re at it again: more frogfights and farewells

IT’S A CERTAIN SIGN OF SUMMER, AND IT ISN’T PRETTY. The various male green frogs (Rana clamitans) out back are engaged in hand-to-hand (webbed-foot-to-webbed-foot?) combat, trying to prove who’s top frog. Meantime, because it finally started raining after a very dry spring, their larger, truly aquatic cousins the bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) slipped out the back on a storm the other night, as if I hadn’t made them feel at home. What’s up with that? Remember the A Way to Garden frogfights of 2009, one of my favorite slideshows, and the Great Bullfrog Exodus? Here we go again: ribbit, er, I mean repeat.

  1. Hi Margaret,
    I have been a huge fan since the first gardening issue was put together MSLiving which I still have and read recently! Your gardening issues were collectors and your book is my favorite and I was so excited when I discovered this site a few years back. I have a question for you. There was a feature in MS LIving a while back about how you decorated with red and green in your country home. I loved that idea and now converted my garden shed into a guest house and am using that color scheme. Could you tell me the issue that article was in? Thanks so much. Christy Woolum

  2. Madeline says:

    Hi, I have written here before about the disappearance of our frogs from our water garden, but this year we have tree frogs….those little guys and gals that hang out on the limbs of our trees and then float on the lilypads at night screeching up a storm looking for a girlfriend. I am surmising this since this is the first time we’ve had this type of frog and I don’t really know anything about them. Anyway, luckily they aren’t in full throttle screech mode everynight since it is so loud! I do love your photo, quite amazing. Kudos to you for managing a snapshot mid battle.1

  3. Rae says:

    Do frogs catch birds? My neighbor sound several dead birds in her pond, which is full of frogs. Also, my cocker spaniel evidently found a dead frog in the grass and rolled into it, getting quite green on her body. Ugh!

    1. Margaret says:

      @Rae: Bullfrogs (not other species here) do lunge after birds who come to the water to drink, yes. It’s pretty gruesome. I’m not sure if they eat the whole bird or just kill it by instinct as the alert hunters they are. I have seen the ones that sometimes summer here with me go after incoming birds repeatedly.

      Bullfrogs will eat fish, mice, chipmunks and just about anything that tries to run or swim or even slither by (small snakes, salamanders…), including other frogs (yes, they are omnivores and even cannibals). More on bullfrogs.

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