Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Frogs Around the Pond
I fully admit that this is likely the worst frog photograph you have ever seen. I know it's the it's not the frog photo I wanted to take or post. After months of waiting and various attempts, this is the best frog photo I've been able to come up with. Very disappointing.
Last year, at some point during the summer, I counted 73 frogs leaping into the water as I walked around the half-mile circumference of the new pond. This year, there are easily double, if not triple that number. When I walk around the pond it's like a froggy ballet, one after another, leaping from some invisible spot along the pond's edge to the invisible safety of the water.
I've tried sneaking up on them. I've tried walking slower than slowest super slo-mo known to humankind in hopes I wouldn't scare them. I've tried sitting immobile for what feels like hours in the broiling sun hoping they will think I'm a stone or a stump or something and return to their pond-side perches. No luck. These stupid frogs are too smart for me. I give up.
So here's my frog photo, such as it is. You can just barely see this guy's eyes and head peeking around the edge of the log. It's a green frog, which is what most of the dozens of frogs currently inhabiting the new pond are. I have heard several bullfrogs, too. Since I haven't been able to get closer, I don't know if any other species are here, perhaps pickeral or leopard frogs.
Green frogs, also known as bronze frogs, are the most common ones in this area. There's been many stories locally about how native frogs and salamanders were decimated by acid rain, which caused breeding to fail. Much work was done to improve that situation, though many streams and ponds have been slow to recover. Perhaps because the new pond is, well, new, the water here is benefiting from that work in a way that is not seen as dramatically in pre-existing ponds. Perhaps it's because the water in the new pond is periodically replenished with fresh water from the nearby Beaver Creek that acidity here does not appear to be as problematic as elsewehere.
Whatever the reason, the local frogs are thriving and numerous, though they sure aren't willing to pose for pictures.