Pacific Tree Frogs at Rosehaven Cottage

Shortly after the first rainy winter we lived at Rosehaven Cottage, it became clear that we had drainage problems in areas of our back garden. So, I got out there with shovel in hand and decided to just take advantage of the situation. I dug a pond... a 1,200 gallon pond (Hubby still thinks I'm a little too happy about playing in the mud and dirt).

Anyway, after digging the pond, lining it, and filling it we hoped that it would eventually attract amphibians to our little wildlife habitat that we were just trying to establish.

We didn't have to wait long. One night the next February, a lone little frog began ribbeting in our back garden next to the pond shortly after sunset. We were so happy! All night the little frog ribbeted. All night! That frog croaked from sunset to sunrise, literally!

The next night at sunset that little frog was joined by two others little froggy voices making a trio that serenaded us all night long. "Wow!" we thought, "The little guy actually got some friends to join him."

The next night we had a whole chorus "singing" out in our back garden. "What have we done?!?!" we thought with panic in our eyes as sleep became harder to harder to achieve.

The nightly froggy serenades continued throughout the months of February, March, and April. We eventually got used to the sound (or at least I did). One night we heard the neighbor come out his back door and scream, "Shut up!!!!" at the frogs. They didn't listen.

Then suddenly around the end of April, the frogs stopped this nightly ritual. We'd hear a little ribbet now and then on a drizzly day, but the nightly cacophony stopped. We had grown so used to it that the silence seemed eerie.

Well, as it turns out the chorus was due to mating season. All that carrying on was so that Pacific Tree Frogs far and wide would be alerted that a great place to lay eggs had been found--our pond!

The tadpoles eventually started to appear as the eggs matured. They eventually grew legs and then set up residence around the pond. I was amazed at how tiny they were. These itsy bitsy perfect little frogs so small that they could fit on the tip of my index finger. They stayed in the cracks and crevices of the rocks around the pond until they were big enough to leap away and find froggy homes someplace else (until breeding season came around again).

The same cacophony happens every year around January and lasts until April or so. It is amazing how noisy a frog can be when it's only less than an inch long. The females "purr" while the males make the quintessential froggy noise that one hears in the background of many movies (Pacific Tree Frog recordings are what are often used in films by sound editors).

Right now the frogs are very quiet. I don't even know they're there unless I happen upon one as it's sitting waiting to catch a nice juicy bug. That's what happened this evening as the sun was setting and the heat in the garden began to dissipate. I found one just sitting on a canna lily leaf waiting for its next meal, most likely ousted from its cool subterranean home by the watering system that had just been on (these frogs really don't like getting wet unless its mating season). I went and retrieved my camera and shot these photographs of the little cutey. I probably won't think it's so cute come January though.
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9 comments:

Mark said...

Hi Cindy,

Do you still have the same neighbours and are you on speaking terms with them....I couldnt help but chuckle reading your post, I could just imagine your neighbours saying 'they've started again' through gritted teeth.

Love your Turducky, great fun.

Cheers Mark

KLKinFLA said...

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you too find the place of your dreams. You're smart to live in the now...it's all about what we make it, isn't it?

the feathered nest said...

We've had a pond for almost a year now and no frogs have appeared. Although I'd probably be the one to go out and yell at them if they make that much noise (I'm a very light sleeper). Really great pictures!

Manuela

Kylee said...

Those frogs are a work of ART!

I know what you mean about the noise making it hard to sleep. We've got that in the spring here. I recorded it several years ago, because my 'city slicker' co-workers didn't believe me when I told them how loud they were.

Fossfor said...

thank you for your kind comments on my blog,I was having a bad day and they really cheered me up :)
I love these little froggies,they are such fascinating creatures

hubby said...

I'm so glad you shared with everyone our froggy experience; maybe they'll be more tolerable to me now that we moved upstairs.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Absolutely fascinating -- I didn't know all that about frogs. I did hold a toad once, though :)

Helen Read said...

They really are itsy bitsy! So cute... Thanks for showing us! Thanks also for your kind comments on my Sunday post! I'll be back soon.

Anna said...

Okay, now I don't know if I like Dexter or the frogs. All are great, very nice photos Cindy congrats. The frog is adorable. Anna :)

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