tree frog looks to be safe and snuggled in the
middle of a colorful Mother Duck daylily.
saw the beautiful frog and muttered to myself "safe
in the arms of mother duck." I then chuckled,
thinking how that might sound, as ducks are known to eat
frogs. In this case, however, all was well because this
bright green tree frog was in Mother Duck, one of the
most striking daylilies in our garden.
love green tree frogs, but to be honest I love all
frogs. I live less than a mile from Georgiaís coastal
marsh, with canals all around, and that surely enhances
the incredible nightly concerts. Sure the green tree
frogs are doing their part, but so is every other
species. Iíve recorded it with my phone just so I can
show others what they are missing.
always felt a little slighted that the rainforest has
the colorful poison dart frogs, but I have to admit I am
most boastful about our handsome, bright green tree
frog, Hyla cinerea. Do you proudly boast? Every time I
mention them in garden groups, some people get
squeamish. Iíve used the word "our" far too
often, as if the Deep South had a monopoly on these
frogs. But indeed they are native as far north as
Maryland and Delaware; then, as far north as Minnesota,
there is a relative called the gray tree frog, Hyla
versicolor, that actually can change colors.
it comes to green tree frogs, some are bright green and
others are olive green with markings of white or yellow.
Their legs are one and a half times the length of their
bodies, giving them the ability to leap eight to 10
feet. Their feet are unique, with rounded, adhesive
disks on unwebbed toes that enable the frogs to climb. I
get a kick out of watching them cling to windows and
doors by the front porch lights, waiting for a tasty
dinner to fly by.
the day, the green tree frog goes into protective mode,
remaining still and hidden so not to be seen by
predators or tortured by the family feline. You will
find them nestled in the cup of a bromeliad, snuggled
down in the leaf of a canna, hidden among the fronds of
a Boston fern or in my case nestled snug in a daylily.
concert begins each evening after sunset. The males sing
choruses, hoping to attract the young ladies. Sitting on
the porch or patio listening to them sing and watching
the passing fireflies also doing a mating ritual has to
be one of the Southís finest moments. It is the stuff
that makes childhood memories and provides the lore for
books about the South.
mating, the females propel their eggs backward into
ponds or streams where the eggs adhere to floating
vegetation. Within a couple of days, the eggs hatch into
a larval stage known as tadpoles or as kids call them,
phase lasts from four to six weeks; then individuals
mature into tree frogs. It will be the next year,
however, before they reach sexual maturity and bring us
their song again. The sounds go silent in August as
mating season ends and the frogs prepare to over-winter,
but without a doubt, they do their part to make our
landscapes more enjoyable at night.
matter where you live this is the season to take your
children out for the evening. Donít go to a fast food
establishment, but go out in the backyard or to a park
to look, but most of all to listen. The green tree frogs
or one of countless others native to your area will do
their part to make it a night to remember.