Sunday, August 2, 2009

This Curious Frog

Water Plantain around vernal pool

It’s been weeks since I’ve walked these waters—the flattened remnant of what had been the old farm’s pond, now shallow and holding water only until late summer, when August heat dries it, and weeds fill its basin with growth.
This year, though, frequent spells of rain, broken only by days that have given us “the coolest July on record” have kept it well-filled—almost toppling over the rim of my boots, as I walk a slow arc, past the thick green stems, the ring broken only in a few places by the paths of muskrats crossing to the surrounding fields from their burrow on the bank beside me.


The lives of the water have left it now—
salamanders and frogs hatching from eggs left here in great floating masses on the first warm nights of spring, have walked away—
on new legs, to lives on land.

Baby Tree Frog, newly emerged

Just a few of the very last to use this small pool linger now, at the edge.
Tiny Tree Frogs, some still with a vestige of tadpole tail, have found safety in the thick green of the ring.
And glow like enameled jewels against green leaves.
Barely half an inch long, minuscule fingers of glass,
even so small, the padded toe reaches and grasps--climbing carefully.
I so love this curious frog.

baby Cope's Gray Tree Frog




Check out the color!
(all photos click to enlarge)

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28 comments:

swamp4me said...

Excellent! How I do love the frogs :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Such a tiny little frog. I see toads occasionally but they are a little larger than this when I see them. It is such a beautiful color too.

bobbie said...

What a little sweetheart!

Rita said...

I had the same kind of little frog in my garden today. I had never seen one like it before, then i look at your blog and there is his twin!!
Funy little things that happen in life!!
Rita

Randy Emmitt said...

Wonderful little gray treefrog. We get the other gray treefrog and when they come out of the pond I usually find them perched in saplings. Some still have little tails even. I'll be back enjoyed my visit.

Ginnymo said...

I love frogs! But I've never seen any others but the regular green ones in ponds. This little one is so cute!

Gabrielle said...

As always, your writing is so refreshing to the soul. The baby tree frog pictures are wonderful, too.

LauraHinNJ said...

These are precious Nina!

Kelly said...

...so tiny and perfect. It must have taken your breath away when you first caught sight of him!

Water Damage Baltimore County, MD said...

Cutest thing ever!

<3 Lindsay

Appalachian Lady said...

That frog is so cute. To be able to hold him must have been a big thrill. Thanks for posting--hope to see some frogs like that.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Great picture... How lovely - we have never actually seen these little guys- only heard them! Thanks!

Arija said...

What a little darling!
Hey, maybe you need waders not rubber boots.

Deborah Godin said...

What a moment, finger to finger with such a beautiful fearless little one! How fortunate you are!!

JLBO said...

How quaint ! If he's worth a cent, how much am I worth, then ?
A big frog...
Love your blog, by the way.

Babooshka said...

That has to be the cutest frog ever. I just can't begin to imagine holding something as tiny as this that's alive.

James said...

I've seen some big frogs and I've seen some small ones, but this just may be the smallest.

kikamz said...

a very engaging post. as i read, it's as if i was walking with you. and that indeed is one curious, cute frog! soooo tiny!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Amazing post, Nina. I was just as excited about the water plantain photo as I was to see the tiny frog. (I had seen that at the edge of a pond and didn't know what it was.) I love the colors on that little guy.

Roger Owen Green said...

Curiosity captured the frog in photo. Great shots!

Regina said...

Amazing creature!

jay said...

Oh, I did enjoy that! And I love your pictures of the little fellow! 'Toes of glass' ... how very apt.

I was going to say i loved the second
picture, until I saw those gorgeous frogs!

Nina said...

Isn't he charming?
I'm always taken by their curious nature--a frog who chooses to step toward an outstretched finger, rather than hop away from it.
And, as I was attempting to place him on the deck, beside a coin for relative size, he kept climbing further up my arm and looking straight at me--as if he would soon launch himself into my hair!
Such color on him, too--if the pictures would only capture the metallic hues beneath his green--a coppery tone--a real little jewel.

Q said...

Dear Nina,
He is a darling! So tiny and his green is fantastic.
Thank you for the photographs and his story.
Sherry

sweet bay said...

Wonderful post! That frog is beautiful. I especially like the photo of him perched on your finger, with the penny for size reference.

Tumblewords: said...

Terrific photos - the frog is adorable - love the way you measured him by the penny. Enjoyable post!

Kathiesbirds said...

Nina, he is so tiny but I bet he has a big voice!

xdhaas said...

I've been doing a herp survey for a local Preserve and found babies that look just like these except mine had tails. I'd incorrectly IDed them. It's difficult to find pics of baby frogs and they don't always have the same markings as the adults. Thank you for posting these!