Saturday, February 21, 2015
Wood Frogs, a sure sign of spring!
Often times in January and February after a big rain, we can hear this sound coming from a temporary pond down the mountain that has formed when someone dug a place for a cabin but didn't end up building there.
Are they birds taking a temporary rest from migration? That was our first thought.
But, for a year Mum didn't know what that sound was and neither did we! So a few weeks ago when Mum heard the sound, she put us inside and hiked down the road to see if she could figure out what was going on down there. She tried to stay quiet as not to scare whatever critters were there.
Just as she rounded the corner and hiked down to the water, she suddenly saw 100's of frogs jumping in the water trying to get away and stay safe.
Ahhhh....frogs! That makes a lot of sense!
These aren't just any frogs, they are Wood Frogs. During the Spring, Summer and Fall we have a lot of toads in are yard (you remember, the ones that gave me toad toxin poison a couple of years back). But we've never seen these frogs around.
It's a heavy breeder! The frogs gather in ponds for a few days to breed then seem to disappear till the next year, which is why we only hear them a few times during the early months of the year.
After they breed, thousands of eggs attach to the vegetation in the pond and hatch within a couple of weeks; then transform from tadpoles to frogs in two months.
These types of frogs are only found in moist woods and they hibernate during the winter moths in leaf litter (which we have a ton of) and rotting logs (which we have a ton of also). They eat a lot of insects, so that's good to keep the bugs down around our cabin.
The Wood Frog is listed as a species that is 'Of Special Concern' in South Carolina; and is a bit rare in Georgia, not due to habitat loss, but because its range just barely extends into the state.
Enjoy the sound!