Sunday, October 17, 2010

It pays to look twice

This weekend, I was in need of places to hang my bird feeders to dry after a thorough cleaning. I usually opt for shepherd's hooks to act as drying racks. That means that sometimes I need to displace a hanging basket or two that is occupying said shepherd's hooks.

Just before I reached to remove one of the hanging baskets, an unidentified blob-like object on the hook caught my eye. At first glance I didn't know what it was. I thought it might be
a.) some dirt
b.) some poo
c.) larval form of unknown bug

This image doesn't do justice to my first glance at the mystery object, since its shape is slightly more telling from this angle. In case you haven't identified it yet, it's a frog.

A sweet little Gray Tree Frog, methinks.

Except I'm not sure. We have both the Gray Tree Frog and Cope's Gray Tree Frog in southern Ohio, and the only way you can tell them apart is by the rate of their trill (Cope's is faster and less melodious). Since this frog wasn't making any noise, its true identity remains a mystery.

What good camouflage this would be if he were on a TREE!

I was worried about this tiny frog making it through the night since the temperatures would be dipping down into the low 40's. I know frogs have mechanisms for dealing with cold temperatures, but they are usually burrowed underground by the time it gets really cold. I checked in on him this morning, and he was still there, and still breathing. Later in the day, though, I became worried that he make an easy meal for the Blue Jays that were hovering around in the trees very near this shepherd's hook. I checked the hook early this evening, and froggy was not to be found. Either he was able to move to a safer/warmer location, or he did indeed become someone's meal.

Despite his exquisite natural defense of camouflage, he was out of place on that hook. If he caught my eye, it's not hard to imagine that the sharp eye of a hungry bird would have seen him, too.


hip-chick said...


KaHolly said...

I opt to think that warmed by the sun, he hopped off to find some breakfast, and remains safe and sound! Great post. Cute frog! ~karen

Andy said...

good eye!

Ginnymo said...

What a cute little frog!! I'm glad you spotted it before you hung something..Might have squished it. I'm hoping he hopped off to find himself a nice warm spot for the night. Great photos Heather! Sure do hate to see the cold weather coming so soon.

The Early Birder said...

Let's hope it had the foresight to find a little nook to hide away in where it was less conspicuous.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's not about natural ways but as I see it it makes me want to move it on some tree.
Hope the froggy moved by itself to some warmer spot where it cannot be seen.

Judy said...

As I was reading, I was thinking, what a nice illustrated story, till I got to that final photo. I cannot believe how beautiful his eye is! Thank you so much for including that shot!!!