Friday, July 27, 2012

Little green frog

So far this summer we've had an assortment of creatures housed in containers in our kitchen: Wooly Bear Caterpillars, tent caterpillars, moths, ants, grasshoppers and an American Green Tree Frog. Here's the story of the little green frog.

A couple weeks ago, I sent Dan and Monika outside to jump on the trampoline one afternoon when it wasn't so blazing hot. I was hoping to catch a short nap before chores while the house was quiet.

Five minutes into my nap, I heard the storm door open and the kids come running in.

"Mom, we found a frog!" Dan yelled from the kitchen.

I didn't exactly want a frog hopping free in our house, so I got up to intervene.

Cradled in Dan's sweaty little hand was a very dehydrated green tree frog. The kids said they had found him on the trampoline. At first I thought the frog was dead. It had been so hot and dry for most of that week, it made sense that moisture-loving amphibians were suffering, too — especially if they were hanging out atop the black surface of the trampoline.

I told the kids I thought the frog was dead, but they assured me it could move. So we put the frog in a plastic container, added a little unsoftened well water, and covered the container with cheese cloth (secured with a rubber band).

I told Dan and Monika the little frog needed time to rest and soak up some of the water. They went back outside and I went back to the couch.

When we checked on the frog before going out to the barn, the transformation was almost miraculous. What had been a nearly lifeless little frog was now fully hydrated and reactive. At Dan's request, we added a stick to the container for the frog to climb on.

When we came in from the barn that night, the frog had recovered enough to climb again and was suctioned to the wall of the container up near the top.

We kept the frog in the container that night, with the agreement that we'd have to let the frog go outside the next day. This didn't go over so well with Dan. He really wanted to put it in the aquarium like the first frog who showed up in our house.

The next night we let the frog go, ushering it out of the container and into the potted plant on top of our picnic table. I didn't want to let it go on the ground because the barn cats were hanging around on the patio that night.

Dan and Monika checked the plant the next day, but didn't find the frog. We could only hope that he found a tree to hide in and some bugs to refill his tummy.

Then, one night last week when I was coming in late from the barn, I spotted something on the picnic table.

It was a little green frog.

I didn't want to wake the kids up to come see it, so I grabbed my camera instead. I have no way of knowing if this little green frog is the one we rehydrated, but it feels good to think it is.

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