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And a Frog [Aug. 26th, 2016|11:37 pm]
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There were two frogs.  I thought I got pictures of both.  Evidently not.

Rio Grande Leopard Frog today
These frogs reproduce in the back yard water garden.   They are sometimes joined by Cricket Frogs and/or Bullfrogs.  The Bullfrogs migrate down to the creek when there's water in the creek, and presumably some of the Leopard Frogs do too (because otherwise where did they come from?)  but the Leopard Frogs are here all the time.  We see their tadpoles in the water, all stages from small to starting to grow legs to just a bit of tail left.

This image by K. Shull in late June.
Notice how blunt the tadpole's face looks compared to the "pointy nose" effect on the adult.  You can see the narrow "point" from above, even on the tadpole, but it's not as long or as pointed yet.

The water garden combines water and habitat for wildlife with an "aqueduct" over the lateral line of our septic system.   We designed it with a variety of water depths (from an inch to almost 4 feet, vegetation, and over 2000 gallons of capacity, circulated by an electric pump.  Water is now supplied from tanks that store rainwater capture. We have seem many species of birds bathing in the shallow sections (including a red-winged hawk),  and game-cams have captured raccoons, opossums, rabbits, gray fox, and white-tailed deer using the water source.  Frogs and toads both reproduce here, as well as many kinds of insect (several species of dragonfly and damselfly, aquatic insects like whirligig beetles, water striders, and giant water bugs.   Occasionally it's visited by a turtle, and we have documented two species of water snakes (the smaller, the Red Lined Ribbon Snake, is the one that keeps showing up.)


[User Picture]From: redheadforever
2016-08-27 05:19 am (UTC)

Thank you -- I really enjoyed that froggyful post!
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[User Picture]From: robby
2016-08-27 06:17 am (UTC)
I don't have a water park, but along the route of our morning walk, there is a heavily used access to an irrigation canal. You can tell that lots of animals go down there, to the water. My dog always does, and I'll bet that place is alive with scent. Closer to home, I make a point of watering generously, so the birds get puddles to enjoy.
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[User Picture]From: filkferengi
2016-08-31 03:22 pm (UTC)
Your leopard frog is a bit darker than ours at the nature preserve.

Do you know what kind of frog does a high-pitched "eek!" before going in the water? We hear those regularly during walks [in the course of which we pick up litter every day. Some folks restore scores of acres; others keep a few miles of trail picked-up].

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2016-08-31 07:00 pm (UTC)
Our leopard frogs very in color (some more brownish, some this green) and also in color saturation with both breeding season and how wet they are.

Leopard frogs make that "eek!" before jumping in and making a hard 90degree turn underwater. Ours are quite loud and startling until you get used to it (if you do.) If water's muddy or cloudy, you can't see it (and neither can predator!) I've only seen the turn a few times, but I've read about it and knew to look for it. If I'm super-lucky someday I'll get a photo of a leopard frog "in flight."
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[User Picture]From: filkferengi
2016-08-31 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, that's very helpful!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2016-08-31 07:07 pm (UTC)
Depending on where you are, your leopard frogs may also be a different species. North of us a ways are the Great Plains leopard frogs...east TX has Southern Leopard Frogs...and the northeast has Northern Leopard Frogs. Some books show Rio Grande Leopard Frogs as brown with dark spots, but ours are commonly green-backed with brown legs...though some are almost all green, and some are almost all brown.
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[User Picture]From: filkferengi
2016-08-31 07:34 pm (UTC)
Now I'm hearing "It's Not Easy Being Green", especially Heather Dale's version on her latest album "Imagineer" [which is on youtube, but not on the album on bandcamp--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DphEk1fHbyM -- {lyrics to the right of the songs}, where you can listen to the whole song for free]. The album has several of your favorites, including "Never Set The Cat On Fire". "One Of Us" is the song I first recommended to Tamora Pierce, who became a big Heather Dale fan.

For the space-inclined, there's "Somebody Will", written by Ada Palmer of Sassafrass. Contrasting all the different versions of that one on youtube is very instructive, especially to someone who knows more about music, like you. Each arrangement has its own grace. That song's been up for multiple Pegasus awards the last few years; I hope you'll listen for yourself & find out why.
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