August is Tree Frog Month around our place. The steady chorus that came from our ponds every night in March and April has, thankfully again this year, resulted in a new generation of Pacific Chorus frogs.
Our two ponds go dry by late June or early July, so the little frogs need to fan out to moister habitats when summer arrives. By August they show up all over the garden. We find them sunning themselves atop the viburnum and rhubarb leaves, or enjoying the shade among the lilac branches or kale. Sometimes when we’re walking under the fruit trees a frog will drop onto our head or shoulder, and catch a ride around the garden with us. What fun for frog and human alike!
Although we see them in various places, they seem to have two reliably favorite abodes. One (shown in the photos above and below) is inside the old metal garbage can that sits at the edge of the garden and serves as our compost tea barrel – a little roofed “pond” of sorts.
Strangely, it doesn’t seem to bother the frogs that their roof regularly vanishes for ten minutes at a time or that the water level in their pond goes radically up and down each day when we water the tomatoes and refill the barrel. They just climb up onto the edge of their metal pond and watch the proceedings.
When it’s time to close up, I often have to give them a gentle nudge so that I don’t accidentally crush their tiny fingers (toes?) with the garbage can’s lid.
Their other favorite summer place is inside our plastic deck box – on, under and between the cushions that we store there. Most August days I find three or four frogs in residence at any given time. I guess it’s warm, protected from predators and of course comfy, with all those cushions, but still it seems like a very odd (and rather dry) place for frogs to hang out.
Needless to say, we go slowly and with great care whenever we need to move a cushion or lower the box’s lid – including giving a gentle encouragement to any of the little guys who need to get into a safer position before the sharp plastic edges of the lid come down.
After all, frogs and other amphibians are having a tough time surviving all over the world these days. We aren’t able to do a lot on the global front, but here at home we try to help them out in any way we can.