One sunny day, my husband and I, spring fever victims, rode our tandem bicycle past wetlands.
After compiling the results of a survey I sent them, however, I’m convinced frogs are musical purists who not only sing without artificial amplification, they don’t even open their mouths. Instead, they balloon their necks.
Unlike most human choirs, the majority are males.
These guys don’t waste words or melodies. They not only establish territories and predict weather changes with their songs, they also romance their ladies. Listening to their impassioned harmony, I wished I could understand the lyrics.
Then, remembering current Top 40 titles, I gave thanks I didn’t.
I’m not so enthralled with peeper music that I’d pay $75 to buy a frog online.
Nor would I pay $10 for flour beetles culture to balance his nutrition pyramid. I’ve paid more to get rid of such “cultures.”
Owners concerned about their pets’ boring diets can buy frog bites which, according to the Arizona Dendrobate Ranch, “add variety to a young amphibian’s diet.”
Many devotees will attend California’s American Frog Day. They’ll revel in frog symphonies, bet on jumping contests, even purchase driveway signs: “Frog Parking Only. All Others Will Be Toad.”
However, in 2002, the BBC did not consider frogs a joking matter. Intense headlines implied that killer bullfrogs had attacked Great Britain. Having eaten Parliament, they were last seen headed for Buckingham Palace.
Further reading, however, revealed that the bullfrogs, an American threat mistakenly imported in batches of water plants, were devouring fish and other small critters. Not a national disaster. But something else for which Europe can blame us.
If frogs from South/Central America invaded their territory, they might have reason to gripe. Poisonous frogs abound there, and those who flaunt the loudest wardrobes — gold, blue, orange, and black-and-yellow-striped — present the greatest threat. The poison dart frog of South America, Phyllobates terribilis, is arguably the most dangerous animal in the world. This little golden frog resembles a kindergartener’s eraser. But according to the University of Georgia EcoView, its slime is 400 times as toxic to a laboratory mouse as a king cobra’s venom.
Me? I’ll stick to live, free concerts by less flashy, Midwestern types who stay in their swamps, go to bed on time and only give us an occasional wart.
Describe your favorite frog encounter. Or, like biblical Pharaoh, do you consider them a plague?
- Spring Peeper photo by Joshua Derck, Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/51109932@N00/32910893583/’>Joshua Derck</a> via <a href=”http://www.stockpholio.net/” target=”_blank”>StockPholio.net</a>
- Bullfrog photo by Kevin Vance, Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/23446980@N07/9703424655/’>Kevin Vance</a> via <a href=”http://www.stockpholio.net/” target=”_blank”>StockPholio.net</a>