Monday, October 3, 2011


Let me start by saying, yes, I am a little bored here at work.  Hence this post.  But I had to share some things that have happened over the summer/fall related to frogs.  As in the little green hopping critters we love so much for all of the flies/mosquitos/other bugs they eat.  Also, let me preface this story with the knowledge that, prior to this year, I don't think I'd seen more than 1-2 tree frogs around my house all summer.

This year the tree frogs must have been quite prolific.  I don't think I went more than a week at a time without seeing a tree frog most of the summer.  There are at least two different kinds of tree frogs, or at least two different colors, around my house.  One variety I've seen is the small, bright green tree frogs.  The other variety is the slightly larger brown tree frogs.  And, let me tell you, both are better than mice at squeezing into small spaces.  I know this from experience.

The first two times were late at night.  As in like 1 or 2 AM late.  My husband found them.  One came hopping down the hall toward his offce when he found it.  The other actually went into his office before he saw it.  Luckily, both times he was able to catch them and kindly evict them from the house.

The next time I had an encounter with one, it was one of the little green ones.  My husband had been cleaning out the shed.  He had found several part bottles of windshield washer fluid (you know, you've added most of it but the bottle is bigger than the reservior and you NEVER have that part bottle with you when you need it so you buy a whole new bottle then repeat the process the next time you need some?) and was going to dump the last of it into our cars to get rid of the bottles.  I was about to leave to run to the store so he had me pop the hood of my car to top off the washer fluid.  Just as he was about to shut the hood he called me out of the car to come help him.  Not knowing what was going on, but seeing he wasn't hurt or anything, I jumped out of the car and tried to figure out why he would need help shutting the hood.  Well - the little frog had crawled down into the engine compartment in my car and was sitting in such a place that if my husband would have closed the hood, the frog would have been squashed.  Don't ask me, I don't know how he got the hood open without hurting the frog.  Several minutes of chasing a frog around the engine compartment later, it bailed on it's own and hid in the flower bed next to the driveway.

We're not done yet.  Once it finally got cool enough to not need the window air conditioning units, we found 2 more frogs.  The first one wasn't actually in the house so it was easy to relocate him.  The second had crawled down into the window sill and was hanging out there.  Have you ever tried to pick a tiny green tree frog out of a window sill?  Trust me - it's harder than it sounds.  I finally got him out of the window and took him outside to turn him loose.  All of the way outside (which was maybe 75 feet) he kept trying to get out of my hands.  When I got outside, I opened up my hands and tried to get him to crawl onto the oak tree by the front door.  That didn't work very well.  I chased the frog around the palm of my hand for almost 30 seconds.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The saddest part is that the frog won!  I did not successfully relocate him to the tree.  I'm pretty sure the deal was that he was cold, my hand was warm and, therefore, he did not want to leave.  By the way, tree frog feet feel really odd on your skin, just in case you wanted to know.  I did successfully relocate the little frog to a leaf of the giant hosta near our front door.  I was nice and put him on one in the sunshine.  I did have to kinda poke him and dump him off my hand to get him to go, but it worked in the end.

The final tree frog encounter came a couple of weeks later.  The weather had said there were frost advisories out.  OK.  Time to haul the plants in.  I figured I would probably find a frog in the plants since, when I talked to my mom that same time, she had to catch two frogs that came out of plants when she brought hers in.  I was surprised that I never saw any.  Silly me.  I thought I got lucky and none moved in with me via the plants.  A week later, I was rearranging the plants to put them in various windows for their permanent winter homes and got quite the shock.  I went to move the last larger planter to the shelf where it would live for the winter and little brown tree frog came flying out from under it.  I have no idea where the little thing had been hiding (aside from under the planter) or what he'd been doing in my house all week.  The frog did not land on me, but, this time I wasn't going to have the advantage of him being cold and therefore slow.  Two adult human beings, one clear plastic container and a piece of paper later, we caught the frog and I was able to successfully evict him to one of my gardens outside.

The scary part is that we're getting somewhat of a second summer around these parts now.  Makes me wonder just how many more little tree frogs I will have run ins with before it stays cold enough for them to hibernate.  Good thing I like tree frogs - just not in my house...

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