Toads are pretty common in my garden, but this is the first frog I've seen. I've heard them croaking noisily at night around the lake. This one is larger than a toad, maybe 5-6 inches long and a glossy deep green color. Finally catching a glimpse of a frog is even more remarkable because this one wasn't near the lake, he was right by my front walkway.
This little Green Tree frog was clinging to sidelight next to my front door looking for bugs attracted to the light. When I opened the door, he made a spectacular leap to the hibiscus bush and sat there long enough for me to get a picture. Only about 2 ½ inches long, you can see that his bright green color provides excellent camouflage among the leaves.
The Green Tree Frog is the state amphibian of Georgia and Louisiana. If you live in the South you may not have ever seen a Green Tree Frog, but you’ve heard them singing before and during rain. They have big voices for such small creatures and in the last week, I've enjoyed their raucous chorus since it's rained every night. They're silent tonight so I guess that means our weather is turning dry and hot. Gifted weathermen, aren't they?
In recent days, I've seen at least six turtles making their way from the lake to my yard to lay their eggs. I think they were some variety of cooter turtle which inhabits rivers and ponds in the southeast. These turtles mate in May or June. The turtle digs the nest with her hind feet, lays 10 to 25 eggs in one or more clutches, covers the eggs, and heads back to the lake. Nests are located in the open so the newly hatched turtles will have an unobstructed path the lake. They hatch after around 80-150 days, depending on the soil temperature, with most emerging in August and September.
Turtle eggs are a delicacy for lots of creatures including raccoons, crows, and other birds. Every year I find a nest that's been dug up and egg shells scattered around. I hope this year all the eggs stay safe and I'll see baby turtles making their way to the lake.
I saw this baby American toad hopping around the yard. He’s really cute and as you can see, he’s only about an inch long--smaller than a leaf. These toads are common in fields and backyards. All they need is access to a freshwater pond or other water source for breeding, vegetation for cover, and a supply of insects.
American Toads are nocturnal but I sometimes see them hopping around the garden in daylight hours.I’ve noticed that one enterprising toad sits on my front porch every night to take advantage of the multitude of bugs attracted to the front porch lights.They eat all sort of insects, earthworms, spiders, grubs, beetles, and snails.American toads have that sticky tongue they can flick and catch their prey.
Even though they can live a long time, there’s a lot of hazards so most toads don’t last but a year or two in the wild. I’m hoping that this little guy makes it. I need all the toads I can get to keep my garden bug-free.
I went downstairs a couple of nights ago and before I turned on the light, I spotted something that looked like a leaf stuck to the window. But when I got closer, it wasn’t a leaf at all. It was a Green Tree Frog clinging to the outside of the window right by the porch light. They often use their toe pads to cling to walls and windows around lights, taking advantage of the smorgasbord of bugs and moths that gather there.
If you live in the South you may not have ever seen a Green Tree Frog, but you’ve heard them singing before and during rain. They have big voices for such small creatures and their rainy chorus echoes around the lake. Only about 2 ½ inches long, their bright green color provides excellent camouflage in grass and trees. Its powerful leg muscles allow it to jump 8-10 feet. The Green Tree Frog is the state amphibian of Georgia and Louisiana.
I’m not that crazy about frogs, but this little guy is downright cute—and pretty smart, too. I’m sure glad my porch light says “welcome” in frog-speak.
A warm and sunny day brought another sign of spring—turtles sunning on a log.This is the first day I’ve seen them out. I count nineteen in the picture. It’s not a record, but it’s a great start for Spring.
Isn’t this a cute one? It’s an American Toad I saw hopping through one of my flower beds. You can see the distinctive spots, warts, and light stripe down his back. These toads are common in fields and backyards. All they need is access to a freshwater pond or other water source for breeding, vegetation for cover, and a supply of insects.
American Toads are nocturnal. Several years ago, one clever toad sat on my front porch every night to take advantage of the multitude of bugs attracted to the front porch lights.I sometimes see them hopping around the garden during the day, but they're usually shy, preferring to hide in vegetation or under loose dirt or mulch. American Toads eat all sort of insects, earthworms, spiders, grubs, beetles, and snails and have a sticky tongue which they flick to catch their prey.
American Toads only breed in water. Breeding season begins in early spring and goes through May. The female lays thousands of eggs in the water in two long ribbons. Tadpoles hatch in 3-12 days and mature into toads in about 40 days. Even though they can live a long time, there’s a lot of hazards for these little creatures so most toads don’t last but a year or two in the wild.
Although American Toads aren’t renowned for their beauty, their ability to consume hundreds of insects a day makes them very attractive to us gardeners. Maybe I’ll put a toad hut or two in the garden to show some Southern hospitality for them.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Eagle Cam 2014 This camera streams the activities of the eagle nest located 110 feet up, in a tree on the grounds of the US FWS National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia.