Put away the snacks

We all know what holiday is celebrated today, don’t we? No, no that, you pathetic teenager, I’m talking about Find Out Just How Many Green Treefrogs There Are Around Your Place, and as you might imagine, I’ve got this well in hand.

When we lived in the old place, I would be delighted to find the occasional Copes grey treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) here or there, perhaps a couple of times a year, but when we moved here, I started finding them a lot more often, eventually establishing a regular community of them with the addition of a small backyard pond. Yet, I really liked the green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea,) and commented about trying to establish more of them in the area.

It is safe to say, I have succeeded. Though how much of this I can take credit for is impossible to tell – in which case, I’ll take all of it.

The first to show up this year was in February, of all times – way early, as far as I was concerned, and the amount of times that the temperature has dropped to levels well below what the species prefers since then has been almost alarming; if frogs can actually feel annoyance, they’re annoyed. Even two nights ago it dropped to less than 10°C, which was just after finding these two.

a pair of juvenile green treefrogs Hyla cinerea sheltering in potted hosta plant
The Girlfriend and I had been doing a bunch of yard work all around this potted hosta plant when I glanced down into the base of a broad leaf and found these two juveniles. I was busy and didn’t want to get the whole macro rig set up, so I simply shot them in natural light, which wasn’t the best move. A little later on one of them, prompted either by our proximity or the sunlight peeking into their shelter area, moved to a new location more hidden than this, so I lost my opportunity to get them together.

Yesterday, while venturing to the nearby pond to chase photos, I checked on the little roadside patch of yellow flag irises, or water irises (Iris pseudacorus, anyway) thriving in a drainage ditch that always has standing water. Sure enough, I spotted a few treefrogs therein, and returned at night when they frogs get more active (and I had the macro rig in hand.) Nearly all of those found were the same size as those in the hosta, likely last year’s brood, so it was a good year for green treefrogs, it seems.

juvenile green treefrog Hyla cinerea on leaf of yellow flag iris water iris Iris pseudacorus

juvenile green treefrog Hyla cinerea perched under blossom of yellow flag iris water iris Iris pseudacorus
juvenile green treefrog Hyla cinerea hiding in shadows of yellow flag iris water iris Iris pseudacorusNow, a small confession: the iris blossoms don’t last long, and I liked the complementary colors, so the image above was actually slightly staged. The frog therein originally appeared as it is to the right, deep among the reedy leaves, and I gently scooped it up and deposited it at the base of the blossom, where it posed quite professionally. So yeah, the frog didn’t go there on its own when I was around, but it was less than a meter away and living among the irises on its own, so sue me for tweaking it towards a much nicer composition. Everybody else was as found, including the one below, perched on a plant hanger in our front garden, a couple of meters from the front door.

adult green treefrog Hyla cinerea clutching upright pole
I’ve been meaning to work on a small reflector for the opposite side of the flash, a fill lighting device to reduce the shadows on the far side, for a while now – I should really get on that.

In the back yard, we have a decorative tree stump, a lovely twisted and gnarled thing that looks like it should be haunted on its own, and some years back it served as a nesting spot for a tufted titmouse, but it’s been slowly taken over with climbing ivy, which is fine by us. Last evening, however, it was a perch instead.

adult green treefrog Hyla cinerea perched atop old stump and looking skyward
This one seemed to be concentrating on something well above. Or maybe it was just looking for a Lyrid meteor – you never know. I found it during the first pass around the backyard, but when I returned after doing the ditch frogs, it had chosen a slightly different spot and pose on the same trunk.

adult green treefrog Hyla cinerea posing on old stump
As The Girlfriend pointed out, this one looks like it’s in the process of calling, but it’s not. Actually, despite the numbers, I have yet to hear any mating calls in the immediate vicinity, though I have heard them over near the pond in years past. We’ll just have to see how long it takes them to start now in the local colony.

And that’s not all of those that I found, just the most photogenic ones. But yeah, the holiday is well and truly covered on this end; how about yours?