‘Contrived’ is an ugly word

Hey hey hey, and ‘wahoo’ even! Today is Retro-Amphibian Day, also known by its European moniker, Dig Out An Old Photo ‘Cause Yain’t Postin’ Shit Day, and so, slave to tradition that I am, I present this image from a little over six months ago, saved in the blog folder for this exact purpose.

unidentified juvenile amphibian sprawled across grass tips
Along an overflow channel for the nearby pond, I was belly-down in the grass with the headlamp late one night, checking out the critters in the water, and found this tiny little spud very close by, once again making me self-conscious about how I moved. No more than 15mm nose to butt, it was too small to be spotted casually, and even a careful examination of where I placed my feet could easily have missed it. I shuffled a lot after that, very slowly, hoping to spook any others before I accidentally smooshed them.

Naturally, I had little control over how and where my model here was going to pose, and so could do nothing about the ragged brown tips of the mowed grass, which detract a bit in my opinion. [Quick aside: I’ve long considered ‘mown’ a word, as in, what grass is after mowing, but my computer’s spellcheck tells me I’m wrong, and Merriam-Webster is taking the same side. However, spellcheck also thinks ‘int’ is a real word, a typo that gets past me every once in a while, so as far as I’m concerned, if you like ‘mown’ better, insert it as necessary. It may be a Northern thing.] The toe-pads tell me this is likely a treefrog, and the immediate area is a big favorite of the Copes grey treefrogs, so that’s the way I’m leaning, especially since the evidence so far is that the species doesn’t develop any distinctive identifying characteristics until a little older than this. My confidence in this ID, however, is less than 50% – but that’s still higher than for anything else at the moment.

Anyway, I thought we needed a little greenery right now, and lucky for all of us the holiday happened along, eh?

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