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Anyone else fond of amphibians?

 
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I'm always happy when I find frogs or salamanders around our place. This time of the year we have Pacific Tree Frogs (Pseudacris Regilla) with their chorus calls, especially at night. I love them.

Other times of the year we have Oregon Spotted frogs (Rana Pretiosa), and even Red-legged frogs (Rana Aurora), these ones are rare and endangered.


Here are a couple pictures of Pacific Tree frogs I took a few days ago:




 
pollinator
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We are still covered with snow.  But in probably less than two weeks, the ditches will fill with snowmelt and cause slow rivers to form.  Even before the snow is gone, spring peeper frogs will emerge and start to sing when warm, then become mute as the temperature drops at night.  A clear and hope-filled indicator that spring is here to stay!
 
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John Weiland wrote:
We are still covered with snow.  But in probably less than two weeks, the ditches will fill with snowmelt and cause slow rivers to form.  Even before the snow is gone, spring peeper frogs will emerge and start to sing when warm, then become mute as the temperature drops at night.  A clear and hope-filled indicator that spring is here to stay!



Our spring peepers were chirpin in February when it was right under 80 degrees, I listen every year for em they are one of my favorite frogs and I'm partial to their markings. We are probably less than a week away from hearing the real chorus of tree frogs (gray, green) and all our bullfrogs that surround our pond and neighbors pond. I record the song every year the first time I hear it because it's actually deafening at times. But it's my favorite ambience. People have complained about frogs but I'd rather hear nature over cars/trains/cities any day of the week. Some of my fondest memories are going out "herpin" when I was a kid. My old man instilled that in me and I never grew out of it. Any time he was home in the spring he'd take me out during a rain at evening/night and we'd go down a dirt road, catch the frogs, identify them in his old 1970 college textbook, and set them loose. His first degree was in wildlife biology and he taught me about their environment, eating habits, scientific names, some of which i can still reference and are easy to remember, i.e. 'hyla crucifer' is the spring peeper and you can associate the crucifer with the crucifix marking on its back. Also hyla versicolor is my personal favorite frog, the gray tree frog which imho has the coolest camo in the frog world and when you see these things on your glass door they almost have a rainbow like glow to the bottom of them, hence the versicolor (i think). That's all from memory I could certainly be wrong, but just wanted to drop in here and show love on this post bc the herps out there are a vital part of ecosystems that don't get talked about enough. I create toad habitat every year in my gardens, not that they even need it around here I just like to think I'm housin em. I had a "pet" green tree frog (hyla cinerea?) by my greenhouse a couple years ago during some hard tx drought midsummer. I used to go splash him on purpose while watering plants, and i swear the little things body language led me to believe he was actually loving me dumpin water on him... which lifted my spirits as well.

I know this post was asking about amphibians but reptiles are in the exact same environment. We have a sayin down here "where there's frogs, there's snakes". Watch out for the mean ones. I got bit by a copperhead and couldn't walk for a few weeks.
 
pollinator
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Waiting for the racket of chorus frogs and wood frogs. Our ponds are still frozen. Spring is late.

I know there are salamanders here. That's good, they are welcome to all the slugs they want. I rescue the occasional one from our little fish pond. And if I disbturb soil late in fall, I will often unearth one that has already burrowed in and is quite grumpy with me.
 
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Yes.
DF8E2BAE-5012-4FB8-9510-C55181335A8B.png
frog sitting on a hand
 
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The pacific chorus frogs are everywhere here, and cute enough that I take too many pictures of them.  The bullfrogs, unfortunately, are not native.  Every few years one will show up in a pond, and if I don't remove it, all the other frogs around it will disappear (and all the small fish).
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Pacific chorusfrog
Pacific chorusfrog
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North American bullfrog (a bit overreaching on the name there, since they're only native in the East)
North American bullfrog (a bit overreaching on the name there, since they're only native in the East)
 
pollinator
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These are some pictures of frog eggs growing in a seasonal pond we dug for hardscape runoff at the Crescent City Food Forest. To clean the runoff, the ditch dug for it was filled with woody debris and had willows planted in it. Frogs lay there every year now, and we find them all
over the food forest helping us out with our epic slug and snail populations. Ducks have also come to use the little pond as well, helping solve that duck deficiency that leads to plagues of terrestrial gastropods.

If I had to choose one indicator of whether I am helping or hurting a place, it would be the amphibian population and diversity. Woody debris in water seems to be the simplest way to help provide shade, shelter, food, oxygenation and breeding grounds.
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frogs eggs in a podn
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frogs eggs on the end of a stick in pond
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pond in flooded field
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white dog walking in front of woman hiking
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twigs in a ditch
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a mound covered by burlap
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a swale in the making
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white dog chewing on something in a forest
 
Ben Zumeta
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Dog in old growth pictures above were accidentally added when scrolling to find frogs!
 
pioneer
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I greatly enjoy them. I am patiently awaiting a small 7 foot x 10 foot sheet for creating my first pond. I need to install these lily pads I have growing before they die.

I went to grab a plant the other day and found this behemoth taking a nap.




IMG_1385.JPG
frog sleeping in a potted plant
 
Paul Anguiano
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Jeff Steez wrote:I greatly enjoy them. I am patiently awaiting a small 7 foot x 10 foot sheet for creating my first pond. I need to install these lily pads I have growing before they die.



You can keep water lilies alive in just a bucket for a long time.  Hardy waterlilies will even survive bog conditions without much free water indefinitely.  Tropicals only need a few inches over them.  But they'll send all their leaves into the air out of a small container if kept that way.
IMG_5529.jpeg
Dwarfed by the small pot, this full-sized water lily lives in this pot year-round (zone 7).
Dwarfed by the small pot, this full-sized water lily lives in this pot year-round (zone 7).
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Just to keep on topic, here...
Just to keep on topic, here...
 
pollinator
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Bullfrogs have helped to provide our family with a comfortable farm income over the years. These pictures show some of the activities that start in April on the farm.
Amplexus.jpg
Bullfrogs
Eggs-Day-One.jpg
Bullfrog Eggs Day One
Eggs-Day-Two.jpg
Bullfrog Eggs Day Two
Larvae-Day-Five.jpg
Bullfrog Larvae Day Five
Larva-Day-Seven.jpg
Bullfrog Larva Day Seven
 
master steward
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I too adore all the reptiles and amphibians I see or hear on my land, but despite me leaving many natural areas, I'm concerned at the decline I observe. No cute pictures at the moment.

The non-native wall lizards which have been spreading north towards my area have arrived. Bull frogs are considered invasive, but they haven't made it this far yet. I'm not strong with identifying individual species of frogs, but I've been told that my pond has had multiple both native and non-native species visiting.
 
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Steve Mendez wrote:Bullfrogs have helped to provide our family with a comfortable farm income over the years. These pictures show some of the activities that start in April on the farm.


I am curious, how can you monetize bullfrogs? Are they eaten in the US? I only know that they are about the biggest amphibians.

@Jeff, if you build a pond and want to support frogs or toads you should leave out fish!

I really enjoy reading about amphibians in other parts of the world and seeing your pictures. Here in Central Europe mating season of the common European frog  and toad is almost over. We installed our toad and frog crossing barriers end of February and put them down a week ago.
We check the buckets along the barrier twice a day and carry the animals to the other side of the road.
But first we have to count and categorize them (first picture).

There is another place in our town where a lot of frogs spawn and by accident the responsible of the water treatment eliminated a plug in a rainwater retention basin right after the frogs had spawned and we had to evacuate lots of spawn which had fallen dry. It was a terrible sight and we have spoken to the mayor of the town and will meet with responsibles of the District Nature Conservation authority to see how we can align amphibian habitat (the common frog is almost on the list of endangered species in Bavaria) with mandatory protection against flooding events.
As all towns do have mandatory rain catching basins we could leverage initiatives to install those as amphibian habitats (which oftentimes serve as the only possible water bodies for amphibians in our district).

There was also a joyful event when I heard the characteristic mating song of the common frog from my pond! It is like a soft purr, and when I came with the electric torch I saw about 5 of them in the pond and in a mini pond on the side! Some were in mating position (although the unlucky "partners" did not appear to be females) and when I asked an expert on the subject he said that they were not animals hatched in my pond last year (when we had another emergency spawn evacuation and I put some in my pond for observation). In our region they only mature in the 3rd or sometimes 2nd year so one male must have found my pond by chance (in the middle of streets and houses) and called, which was a signal to more males to come over!



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collecting amphibians (left: toads, right: common frog)
collecting amphibians (left: toads, right: common frog)
Froschpaar.jpg
mating common frogs
mating common frogs
 
Jay Angler
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Anita Martin wrote:

We installed our toad and frog crossing barriers end of February and put them down a week ago.

There's a road in Ontario north of where my sisters live which is actually closed to traffic for at least a month during spring mating season. The people who live at one end have to take a moderately circuitous route to get to their houses, some people park on the verge and walk in for the duration of the closure, and the most awesome part of the business is that those home-owners were the people who insisted this had to be done! They were so sick of seeing critters flattened by cars, that they petitioned for the annual closure. I have a feeling the critters in this case were salamanders of some sort rather than frogs, and I may not have all the details exactly right as I read about this a long time ago. Apparently the officials were quite surprised when they asked every homeowner on the strip if they were on board and got a resounding, "yes".
 
Paul Anguiano
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This commercial from my youth keeps coming back to me every time I see this topic name.



howdyfrog2.jpg
frog in plant
 
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Up close and personal with one of our resident bull frogs. Nothing like spending time by the ponds listening to the evening chorus....
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close up of frog
 
pollinator
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I've read in a few places that frogs are the equivalent of the canary in the coal mine.

If the frogs disappear where you are, something has gone very wrong in your environment.

I have a herd of tree frogs that overwinter in my greenhouse and I just love them for what they do  (eat bugs!) and to hear them sing at night or when rain is coming.

Dragonflies are the same story here in N. FL. If they go missing something is wrong environmentally.
Dragonflies also do wonders in keeping the mosquitoes down, particularly considering I've got a good bit of Kratky type open trench hydroponic gardens, which are open water, something mosquitoes must have in their breeding cycle.

Just the last few years I'm starting to see plain old frogs in the trench gardens too, and that makes me very happy.

If you want to read something impressive, look up the life cycle of mosquitoes

 
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:

I know there are salamanders here. That's good, they are welcome to all the slugs they want. I rescue the occasional one from our little fish pond....



I always leave multi-branched small limbs over the edge of the pond so any critters trapped in there that need out have a ladder of sorts.
 
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what happened to Hyla regalia?
 
Dea Frost
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Dea Frost wrote:what happened to Hyla regalia?


whoops:
https://www.californiaherps.com/frogs/pages/p.regilla.html
 
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I've been finding a few amphibians the last couple of weeks on my new site

There seems to be an endless supply of slugs for them to munch on too, I'm going to dig a pond to encourage more. Any tips for it?

IMG_4942.jpg
These guys were rescued from next to the excavator while we were moving soil around and backfilling a trench we'd planted some large conifers in
These guys were rescued from next to the excavator while we were moving soil around and backfilling a trench we'd planted some large conifers in
IMG_0311.jpg
There was this little fella while I was finding logs for my hugel...
There was this little fella while I was finding logs for my hugel...
IMG_0314.jpg
And these two I managed to relocate from the strimmer when clearing the ground in my new polytunnel
And these two I managed to relocate from the strimmer when clearing the ground in my new polytunnel
 
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Found this little guy (girl?) hanging out on my patio the other morning, much to my surprise.  I thought it was a giant slug at first glance, but on closer inspection turned out to be a tree frog!
Never would have thought a frog would climb up onto a cold metal chair in the middle of the night. Totally bizarre.

The odd behavior continued as it didn't move an inch all day. I was concerned enough to get it some water at the end of the day  ....little fella appeared to be fine though. Forecast was for a cold night ahead and I didn't want to put him back on the metal chair, so I moved him over to a warm rock next to some 'habitat' where he could continue to watch the setting sun.  Hope you're doing well, little buddy!
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[Thumbnail for IMG_3369.JPG]
 
Anita Martin
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Rachael Cart wrote:I've been finding a few amphibians the last couple of weeks on my new site

There seems to be an endless supply of slugs for them to munch on too, I'm going to dig a pond to encourage more. Any tips for it?


Congrats on your new friends! I see toads and a common frog (rana temporaria).
If you scroll up the thread, I had posted a video from someone in the UK, as far as I remember.
Any pond is a good pond. You can use freeform with a pond liner or those ready-made ponds with different levels.
If you have any specific questions just let us know.
The picture shows one of the frogs that found my little pond in the middle of our small town.
Good luck!
frosch-Hinten.JPG
Common frog
Common frog
 
Anita Martin
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Pete Podurgiel wrote:Found this little guy (girl?) hanging out on my patio the other morning, much to my surprise.


How cool! Seems to be a grey tree frog.
We only have one species in Europe which is highly endangered. In my part of Germany you don't see them in the wild anymore, but there is a reserve where some are hatching, and they will be getting a new pond this year.
 
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I am fortunate enough to have a small group of Eastern Redback Salamanders living in my woodchip paths under some bucket planters that I have. When I moved them at the end of this garden season there was five of them! I had to return some of their 'habitat' and will readjust things in the spring.

I have to appreciate their role in the local ecology eating insects that generally feed on mycelium (which is in large supply with my wood chip walkways) or my intended plants!
IMG_5361.JPG
Eastern Redback Salamander
Eastern Redback Salamander
 
Jeff Steez
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This little buddy, and many like it, were born and raised in my small backyard pond, mentioned earlier in this thread.



IMG_3185.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_3185.JPG]
 
Anita Martin
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Jeff Steez wrote:This little buddy, and many like it, were born and raised in my small backyard pond, mentioned earlier in this thread.


Cute! Really looks like a "little" buddy.
Here in Central Europe frogs from this year are bigger already or they won't make it through the winter - not sure what species yours is and if he gets much bigger anyway.
We had first frosts here and I rarely see one of my Common Frogs. I hope they choose wisely when it comes to overwintering because there are stories of amphibians dying due to toxic gases when solid ice forms on top of the pond. Most will look for a spot outside of the pond (hopefully)
I don't want to lose any more of the few I have, some fell victims to neighbours' cats.

For the months up to February when mating season (and volunteer work) starts again I might venture again to our Botanical Gardens. Last week I was there with visitors and I spoke with one of the employees about the Johnstone frogs - these are tropical frogs that accidentally were relocated to Botanical Gardens in the world with plants like bromeliads.
The employee confirmed that they do have them in Munich (in the huge greenhouses, obviously) and that their song ("whistling") can also be heard throughout the day, especially in the morning.
Oh, how I would love to hear it, or even see one of them!

 
Note to self: don't get into a fist fight with a cactus. Command this tiny ad to do it:
NEW BOOK: Pawpaws: The Complete Guide to Growing and Marketing
https://permies.com/t/152725/BOOK-Pawpaws-Complete-Guide-Growing
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