Sunday, November 17, 2013

Backyard Wildlife

Yesterday when I was watering plants, I spied something on a branch of one of my new camellias. At first I thought it was a clump of lichen fallen down from the treetops, a bit of debris. I leaned over to brush it away, but then I detected an eye . . . and a tiny arm . . . and a little "smile" . . . .

"Look," I said to Rob in a whisper. "It's not lichen. It's a frog."

"Oh, I see," he said after a second.

I ran and got my camera and took some pictures, and then I did a little googling. Now I'm no expert, but I believe our frog was either an Eastern gray tree frog or a Cope's gray tree frog (apparently you can't tell these two species apart just by sight).

"I wonder if he was born in our pond," I said to Rob.

"Maybe," Rob said.

Who knows? There's a pretty good possibility--because this summer the pond was teeming with tadpoles.

Gray tree frogs have rough, bumpy skin and can change from gray to green to brown to white depending on their surroundings, I read. They have big, sticky toe pads and are often seen clinging to windows and sliding glass doors. Though forests are their preferred habitat, they adapt well to farmland and the edges of cities and are often seen in yards (like mine).

It was neat to find a frog in my camellia. What I think is exciting and fun about gardening is that even if you weed and tidy quite a bit, the garden is never fully yours or fully under your control. It's brimming with secret residents and visitors and is a place of hidden doings. You hear strange rustlings in the leaves, find odd tracks left in the grass. There are always mysteries and surprises.


  1. Don't you just LOVE little wildlife creatures in the yard?! Love it, Leslie!! Great photo of him, too.

  2. Oh he is so cute! I just love this photo! I'm glad that you took the time to slow down and notice this little guy :)

  3. He's smiling because he knows you're a vegan and wont eat his legs. :-)

  4. What a sweet lil' guy! He is posing for the camera! I love all the critters in the garden too.

  5. I saw a gray tree frog for the first time several years ago -- and then started seeing them everywhere! It's amazing how much they resemble lichen and they photograph very well.

  6. Wow! great photo! Such a cute little guy and he's obviously very happy in your yard:)

  7. Eli, hello! What happened to your blog? I keep looking for it!!!!!!

  8. He has such a look of serenity on his face perched there on your camellia leaf. I do believe he must be the happiest little tree frog in the world. Great photo!