Thursday, September 27, 2012

Frog Trifecta!


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Our neighborhood frogs are having a banner year.

The pair above got into one of our porch lights on September 3. We'd gotten rain earlier that day, and from the calls I'd heard I suspect these are squirrel treefrogs (Hyla squirella). Rain encourages them to express themselves.

"Found throughout Florida and in the Keys on buildings and in shrubs and trees in urbanized and natural areas, including hardwood hammocks, bottomland and floodplain forests and swamps, pine-oak forests, and pine flatwoods," says the University of Florida. "Like other treefrogs, this species has enlarged, sticky toepads."

That explains how this pair was able to climb the wall. This porch light has had a hard time holding onto its finial, which explains how they were able to get inside. (Some years ago our other porch light had sported remnants of a bird nest inside.)

The UF page includes a link to the USGS Frog Call Lookup, where you can hear this species' "raspy and somewhat duck-like call."

On September 16, I spotted three frogs inside one of our hurricane shutters:


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I finally got a usable image at f2.8 with a 1/4-second exposure, freehand. Otherwise I was getting all screen.

I don't know whether these are also squirrel treefrogs, but they shared this space with a family of squirrels, including two kits. This is a video still from September 10:



You can view the squirrel kits in action here.

Likewise, I don't know if the frogs in our mailbox are juvenile squirrel treefrogs (given their smaller size) or a different species entirely. I took this shot on September 26:


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Someone made the mistake of asking me, "How do frogs get into your mailbox?" To which I answered, "Why, Special Delivery of course!"

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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