Pure thoughts and clean living

They had nothing whatsoever to do with my success early this morning, so I honestly don’t know what to credit it to, except that everything else sounds like superstition so I’m going with pure dumb luck. But while it was still raining lightly, I went out with the headlamp to check on erosion control measures and did a quick review of various haunts while out there. I found two green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea, c’mon, you can recite these as well as I can by now,) one that deserved attention simply because of the size, while the other was in a great pose. I did not of course have the camera in hand, and I knew that either one would have at least moved if I went in to get it, if not actually vanished, but I figured, Hey, if you don’t try…

And somehow, both had remained where they were up to my return, and were in fact remarkably cooperative models, and so, we have more green treefrog pics. Blame them, not me.

green treefrog Hyla cinerea perched awkwardly on trumpet flower Brugmansia plant
This was a large adult, and in exactly the pose that I first saw, which in my experience is held only briefly until they either realize they can be seen and tuck in along the stem in camouflage mode, or quickly jump away to a safer spot; holding it for the few minutes that it took for me to scamper across the yard, up the porch steps, into the office, grab the camera, and do all that in reverse is completely unprecedented. But you know? I shan’t complain. It maintained the pose as I did several frames at different distances, so we can go in and see that little toehold better.

green treefrog Hyla cinerea perched awkwardly
Is that the middle toe? It probably is, but fine. Seriously, the frog might have twitched slightly, and blinked to at least let me know it was either alive or a clever simulacrum, but I was able to move around at will and play with my options.

green treefrog Hyla cinerea perched among three blooms on trumpet flower Brugmansia plant
This is on a trumpet flower (Brugmansia,) the only one of three that have bloomed so far, but those blooms are vast, trying to destroy the scale in this photo, so I’ll tell you that my model is roughly 50mm or more in length, slightly on the large size for an adult. Still able to fit comfortably in a shot glass, because these are treefrogs we’re talking about, but for this one the shot glass would be quite full. For the next specimen I went more professional.

juvenile green treefrog Hyla cinerea clinging to fence slat
This was a very small juvenile, a little surprising because all of the ones that I’ve been seeing are growing noticeably now and have well exceeded my desk decoration, but this one is still smaller than those sculpted versions. It is perched on a standard fence picket, billed as “1 inch” which means, in lumber terms, closer to 3/4 inch or 19mm because we have allowed such things to happen in our complacence. Ah, but I can go one better! I had my wallet on me, and I carry one of my paper scales within, because preparedness (and being a weird nature photographer,) so…

juvenile green treefrog Hyla cinerea holding millimeter scale helpfully
Yes, it’s actually holding the scale up for me – I slid the little strip of photo paper carefully under one foot, and it readjusted position slightly but didn’t pull away from the scale, much less leap away. Having my photographic models be so accommodating, twice within five minutes, is almost spooky – like, making me doubt the nature of reality spooky. I’m not used to this. Somehow, that shoe is gonna fall – the camera is probably gonna conk out on me within a day or so. When the posts get really thin and overly philosophical, you know what happened.

That’s a body length of 25mm, or one inch – true inches this time, not stupid wood inches (it occurs to me that guys should be using lumber inches to measure their, uh, themselves, to sound more impressive.) That makes me wonder just how accurate those wood rulers we used in school really were, but I digress. Anyway, no matter what, we’re talking small here (the frog,) and I was even able to retrieve my scale and put it back in my wallet. A roller-coaster morning.

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