frog
Environment

A Frog in My Garden

With the long awaited arrival of the recent rains, an old visitor returned to our garden. I do believe it is the same frog I wrote about him a few years back: –

green tree frog

I had a delightful green visitor in my garden. I found him hiding in the inner dark and cool realms of a motor scooter’s seat compartment, where he has been, apparently riding back and forth to the local train station for perhaps, several weeks. My daughter took some shots seen here, naming him Mr Schneider! Not sure of the reason for that. She is quite imaginative.

Green Tree Frog or White’s Frog

Scientific Name: Litoria caerulea

This frog is native to  Australia and introduced to New Zealand.

He is quite a cute character who can apparently live up to 16 years. The males are smaller than the females and are the only ones to produce he characteristic croak at night, especially in summer when they breed.

The presence of frogs in the garden, it is said, is a good indicator of the health of the local environment and as such, I was really pleased to see this little guy. He is of course very welcome if he is keen on eating all the spiders, cockroaches and insects that make us cringe.

While commonly seeking shelter and availing themselves of still water in human habitats, like toilet bowls, potplants, tanks and swimming pools, an interesting fact is that frogs can scream to ward off predators, and change colour according to their mood, much like a chameleon. Even in the short space of time we observed him, he certainly seemed to  lighten in colour.
It is important to remember and to teach kids, that the touch of a dry human hand is extremely caustic to these frogs, indeed most frogs, so you must always have wet hands when handling them.

Our task this morning was just to guide him to a safe spot, no more hitchhiking on the motor scooter. So whilst capturing him on the old digital camera, he headed for the pot-plants in the window boxes on the front wall, and after a light mist with the garden hose, he squeezed himself into the hole in the side of the self watering pots.

green tree frog

The main danger to the green tree frog is the destruction of its habitat through wetland clearance and drainage.

We can all support the habitat of frogs by welcoming them into our garden.

And that is something every single one of us needs to ponder about.

Less frogs= more insects= indications that the environment is suffering.

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41 thoughts on “A Frog in My Garden”

  1. I’m sure you know frogs and other amphibians are vital to our ecology. They have become the barometers of our planet’s health. Several years ago our German shepherd had a curious interaction with a frog. I’m sure the latter was terrified at the sight of this massive black and tan creature with blazing tri-colored eyes towering over it. But, when my dog, Josh, leaned closer to smell it, the frog extended one of its forelimbs and planted its hand (?) on the canine’s nose – only for a second. I think it surprised Josh more than anyone. He looked at me, which I guess the frog used as a means to hop to safety. But I don’t believe Josh would have harmed it.

    I’ve rescued frogs from troublesome spots around the house a few times. About 2 years ago I found one in our garage, covered in dust and ants. I thought it was dead, but I soon realized it was barely alive. I scooped it up with my bare hands and rushed it into the kitchen sink where I doused it with cool water; the dust and ants swirling into the drain. After a few moments, the frog essentially came back to life. When I felt it looked vibrant enough, I relocated it in a flower bed in the back yard.

    I’ve done the same with lizards I’ve seen scurrying around the house. If I happen to find one inside, I’ll do everything I can to capture it and move it to a flower bed. Several years ago I even plucked a large turtle from the middle of a residential street and dropped it onto a nearby grassy hill, which led down to a pond.

    Some individuals are truly worth saving!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh Alejandro, you and I are on the same page. I capture spiders that stray inside my house in order to relocate them back to the garden where they can keep the mozzies down. Lizards I chase out through the door. They are usually large skinks and they know their way in and out. Your dog Josh sounds like a gentle giant and what a marvelous interaction you were priveleged to see between him and the frog. Isnt the natural world incredible? A very special moment. My dog Tiffany would chase those aforementioned skinks, but they would still survive, albeit without the end of their tail. I think she fancied herself a hunter. She has passed now and our current dog is a bit of a scaredy cat and won’t chase anything except me when it is time to go for a walk!!The lizards are relieved!!
      Keep on doing a great job saving the creatures in your microcosm. They need all our help.

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  2. That is interesting, that it might have hitchhiked on a motor scooter. If so, it must be very smart and jumps up quite high…never thought frogs could do that. Maybe it will make your garden its permanent home 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I associate South Africa with that sound not that I have visited the country but only from what I have seen in movies. I am not sure if it’s the same as here in Australia Lisa, but the sound of frogs croaking can attract snakes. Is that true of your country?

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  3. I love frogs, snakes not so much. I’ve learned something new again. Though I have never ‘handled’ a frog, I’ve rescued my share as well. We have frogs singing at night in the gully behind our homes here. I love hearing them. They are necessary as you say so I try to make myself not fear them and find them a safe place. We used to bring in lizards in our apartment in Taiwan to eat the bugs there. Wicked things, those flying roaches. I like the name your daughter gave him. After all, he was going on a journey so he must have an important mission. Love this post. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such a lovely way to frame his purpose, Marlene. “…going on a journey so he must have an important mission.”
      To often animals are thought of as purely reactive, yet humans love to see and showcase examples of aimals showing emotion, guile and empathy. I am sure they think about things much more than we give them credit for.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love frogs! I wonder where Mr. Schneider was headed!?! Here on the West-coast we get the small Pacific tree frogs. When we moved to our current home, there were lots of them all summer long hanging around the yard. Last year, I think I might have seen a couple all season long. I don’t spray chemicals and try to garden as naturally as possible, but still very few frogs now. I do however have a resident garter snake that hangs around. I love seeing it slither through the grass and flower beds. There is an old lady across the way from us who has a pond out front. She used to pour bleach into the water because she didn’t want any critters in it! 😬😳
    Some humans are difficult to understand. I look forward to warm summer nights when we sit outside in the dark, listening to the crickets and frogs. 🐸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your garden sounds lovely, and very environmentally friendly. Bleach in the pond is the opposite of this. How awful for the frogs to dive into that? Frogs are pretty amazing, for sure. I am fascinate with the way they can hibernate under the soil/sand for years in the outback of Australia, then when the rains come, they come alive again! Nature is incredibly adaptable and smart. I try to keep that in mind when we cross paths with those humans you mentioned. I am not familiar with a garter snake, but I assume it is non poisonous?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The bleach shocked me! Why have a pond if you don’t want critters in it! People can be strange and difficult to understand. I do love my garden, it’s not a “perfect” place without any weeds, but the wildlife seems to enjoy stopping in. I’ve seen documentaries about the types of frogs like yours. Amazing how they can survive in suspension until conditions are right. I think there are some fish like that too in Africa. Lastly, the garter snake is not poisonous. They are beautiful to look at and often have a bluish stripe along their sides. I do have a couple of posts about them if you want to take a look. Last summer it slithered across my bare foot in the grass! That was cool! 😊 We also get small black snakes called rubber boas in the garden. I once came across a nest. The only toxic snakes we have are rattlesnakes which don’t live here in town. They love the wide open country and heat.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Phew. A relief to know that your snakes are poisonous. As you might know, almost all our snakes are highly venomous, so I am not a fan of them. I am not super keen on lizards or reptiles either, but can admire them from a distance. We just came back from the beach where a young man had two lizards crawling on him and he was feeding them his banana that he had for morning tea! Fun to watch but not to do! It sounds like you have a plethora of wildlife in your area?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, our snakes are mostly harmless to humans. I wouldn’t want to share my breakfast with lizards! But we’re all different! Our garden backs to a small forest and is a half mile away from a small nature preserve. We get lots of different birds, chipmunks, some squirrels, coyotes, deer, raccoons, and the neighbors cat (unfortunately 😬). It’s always interesting, no matter which window I look out! Do you get many wild animals in your neighborhood?

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      4. I’ve often joked on Facebook that everything in Australia is poisonous – even the people! Look at Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe! 🙂 Then again, the same thing can be said about my home state of Texas here in U.S.!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Everthing in nature is connected and the numbers depend on the interactions between species. Less food = smaller population; more food = more population and even over population and then the balance is lost. It is something that we humans have yet to learn in our life and how it impacts on our planet.

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