[I am a big fan of a blog called Naturally Curious by Mary Holland. Today she scooped me. Yesterday, I had prepared this blog on mating wood frogs beside my driveway, and waited till today to send it. I have decided to go ahead anyway, because not all of you read her excellent blog. https://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com ]
The shallow pond by our driveway still had ice on it on Friday. Saturday was the first warm and ice-free day, and on Saturday night this was our lullaby:
You might think it was ducks but no, it was wood frogs, who come to the pond to mate in very early spring. Here is a wood frog, Lithobates sylvaticus, in the forest where they live the rest of the year.
They were still at it during the day, and I managed to get some not very good photos; they are only two inches long, and they are extremely skittish, so you can’t get close, and after they are disturbed they don’t return for 20-30 minutes. Here is a head-on shot:
And a profile. The eyes are surrounded by a big spherical membrane that looks like an old-fashioned goldfish-bowl diving helmet.
The loud quacking sounds are amplified by a pair of air sacs that they inflate when they call, and I managed to get just one shot that shows them inflated:
In this photo, they do remind me rather of silicone breast implants.
And sometimes all that effort pays off; and yes, the males are smaller than the females.
It appears that not all the liaisons are private one-on-one affairs. At one point a small area of the pond was bubbling like a witch’s cauldron. Here is a not very exciting video to give you a sense of what I saw. What lay beneath the surface one must leave to the imagination.