Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our nocturnal neighbors

Birds aren't the only animals checking out our backyard. The other night, Itinerant Cryptographer let the dog out back and promptly announced to me that I needed to take a look outside. This is what I saw:

Only I didn't just see one frog on the outside of the sliding glass door. I counted fourteen of them! Each one was tiny, about the size of the tip of my thumb. They weren't real keen on me taking photographs of them, though. I think the flash scared them.

The next day, Kerm and I walked around in the backyard to look for the frogs to try and identify them.

I didn't get very good photographs, but I think they are treefrogs, possibly Spring Peepers. Spring Peepers are noctural treefrogs common to wooded areas in the Northeastern United States. The most distinguishing feature of a Spring Peeper is the "X" on its back, which you can almost see here (or could if I had worked my optical zoom a bit better!):

Note how tiny these frogs are! I have small hands for a human, but my fingers are giant-sized from their perspective. Can you imagine hopping around with clovers as tall as your head?

Kerm and I were tickled to see so many frogs in our backyard. But then we discovered that something else was interested in our frogs. Can you imagine what predator might like our frogs? Find out for sure next week!

Photo credits: Mama Joules

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