Raining Frogs

It’s been a tough few months for the people who live along the North Carolina coast.  First, it was abnormally heavy rains in June and July.  Then, in September, Hurricane Florence hit and left the area battered and flooded.

adult3And now, it’s raining frogs and toads.

The conditions are all related.  The heavy rains earlier in the summer, and the many puddles left by Hurricane Florence, created ideal conditions for tiny critters like the eastern spadefoot toad.  It’s one of a number of frogs and toad species that thrive in such conditions — and are biologically designed to go from birth to mature reproductive adulthood in a very short period of time.  In short, it’s high times for the eastern spadefoot right now, and it and the other frog and toad species are taking advantage of the many available love-puddles to engage in “explosive breeding.”

Once the frogs and toads take care of that biological imperative, their rapidly growing legions go searching for drier locations — and, because the conditions are so damp, that means houses, and cars, and other places where people don’t want or expect to encounter frogs and toads.  The darned things are everywhere, croaking and hopping and staring at people with those big yellow frog eyes.  Carolinians are finding frogs and toads in their kitchens, clinging desperately to the windshields of cars, and falling on them when they leave their houses.  It’s got to be unsettling, to say the least.

Over time, the puddles will dry out, the conditions will change, and the frog and toad population will return to its rightful balance.  For now, though, the people of North Carolina have to be wondering what’s next.  Locusts, perhaps?

Feeling Good About The Frog

This morning, as I was walking through our downstairs hallway, I noticed an intruder in the house.  At first I thought it was a moth, but instead it was a small green frog, clinging to the wall at about baseboard level.

How it got into our house is anybody’s guess.  I’d guess it was a green tree frog — about the size of a half dollar, with long webbed toes and excellent adhesive abilities.  Kasey noticed him, too, and was starting to pay the little guy an uncomfortable amount of attention.  I got a dish towel, draped it over him, gently picked him up, and took him outside and dropped him onto the grass.  He quickly hopped under some nearby bushes and was gone, probably on his way back to the tree at the corner of our house.

This is the first frog in our house that I can remember, but it’s not uncommon for us to find that moths, bees, spiders, and even birds have gotten into the house somehow.  Whenever that happens I always try to do whatever I can to get them back outside, safely and without injury, and when I do so I feel a bit better about myself.  After I set Mr. Frog on the path to freedom this morning, I walked around the Yantis Loop with an extra hop in my step.