Friday, November 9, 2012

Frogs on the Windowsill

Who'd have guessed  that the scaly little guys were such positive harbingers of  a healthy environment.  Frogs and toads are a signal that the ecology of an area is healthy and balanced--so the recent return of these chubby little amphibians to our yard was a welcome event. Their delicate environmental sensitivities require that their habitat be chemical and pollutant free and nearly exactly as mother nature intended. 

The marshy Rouge floodplain which borders our home has long been pummeled with pollutants. When the local tiny toad population exploded, it was a hopeful sign that the watershed was bounding back.  What was unexpected was where they chose to thrive -- in basement window wells. 

Our sills have become frog condominiums. It's speculated that mama and papa frog, whilst hopping along one day landed on the wide grates and found themselves hurling downward to a soft landing on the leaves that never quite get cleared out each fall.  A plentiful supply of bugs and unprecedented protection from predators caused a population explosion.  Attempts to free the squirmy creatures were largely unsuccessful as they scurry into tiny concrete caves.

Still they spend most mornings trying to escape on their own.  On the rare occasion when I was able to snag one for freedom, a replacement appeared overnight.  A few others ended up in a friend's pond as part of the forced relocation program.  Eventually we gave up and let them be, reasoning that at least they were safe from raccoons, car tires and other such predators.

It's impossible to get an accurate census.  Some are always hiding, often in plain sight. Babies are so tiny they're indistinguishable from the environs, 'Specially now they've donned their muddy winter coats.

They're certainly entertaining.  As cold weather descends, our resident amphibians remain undeterred.  From the treadmill each morning, the show in the window is far more entertaining than the morning news.  Scrambling up and over each other, pressing their grinning faces against the glass, these delicate creatures, eyeballs popping. wrestle each other backwards for hours. 

Morning sprinkler showers really get them going. 
At night, when the air is warm and the windows ajar, the sound of soft croaks punctuated with an occasional deep bullfrog rasp brings back memories of childish summers at the lake.

 Let the music begin!

Welcome back little friends. 

There's always a spare window womb. 

More Articles of Interest:

New USDA Planting Zones -- The Blog Formerly Known as Zone Five and a Half

 Winter Weeds and Good Deeds -- How Climate Warming Affects Plant Survival