A Boy’s Frog Adventures

A Frog Adventure

A Boy, a Frog, a Toad, and Adventures

The star of the story, when it comes to creatures, A frog to be specific, is usually my son, Gibson. Most often toads  and frogs are found during my time in our home gym. As I am working away the stresses of life, maintaining what’s left of a college sports figure, and practicing what I preach as a Coach.  It is  then that frogs and Gibson unite. Rain or shine this boy finds frog friends and pursues funny business…as defined by an adult. To him it is life and it is life lived to the full wild spirit inside my young boy. And to be sure we give proper credit, his sister Lorelai, is as adventurous in a less wild way and enjoys a more artistic and sentimental adventure with our yard and frogs, even motherly at times.

Story A: Froggy Funny Business on Thursday with Mom and Frank
It was mid spring when he found a medium sized Frog (now called Frank) as he wondered the back yard with a toy truck looking for fun as only a boy can. Frank and Gibson had been in the backyard while I had been working out and running the hill. But I won’t ever forget as I ran up the hill to see Gibson on the trampoline laughing with his hands cupped and his eyes just as big and blue as they are on Christmas. I asked ” what’s happening bud, what’s so funny?” Gibson replied “Mom, I figured if frogs love to hop and jump he and I could play on the trampoline.”  A second latter this frog was placed on its feet right out of the mud covered hands onto the trampoline and Gibson said, “See how high he hops now!” If I was being honest I love God’s creations and I don’t think animals should be abused in any way though I do believe some of them taste great. At this moment I felt so sick and so worried for Frank. I replied ” Gibson, you’ll need to get Frank back on the ground and let him be for a while, your making his world too crazy and too hoppy even for a frog.” And even though my boy disagreed with what was good for Frank’s health at this point, he got him down and placed him carefully in the back of the Tonka truck habitat he had previously made and proceeded to drive Frank all around until we headed upstairs. I never got a thank you from Frank, but he was let loose mid-morning and probably headed to bed with some Dramamine while Gibson went on to live a full Thursday asking here and there if Frank would ever come back. (Upon further discussion, Frank turned out to be an unlucky Dwarf American Toad)
Story B: Froggy Funny Business on Saturday with Mom and Sissy
We had just finished breakfast upstairs and it was about 9 am on Saturday so down to the fort, the trucks, the chalk, the trampoline, the hammock, the gym, and the rope swing we went. Only for there to be the tiniest little frog we have ever laid eyes on and needless to say this little guy instantly became a pet in Gibson and Lorelai’s eyes. And not just any pet but one where they as children negotiated with me rather impressively with such comments as “Mama, he is so tiny we won’t even notice him hopping around the house.” or ” he only needs a large cup with a couple twigs and leaves for a home, we have large cups in the kids drawer.”  and the best one “Mama, he is too cute and little to not have a home.” And so this little frog became a pet for a day, because I was a softy. The frog was not allowed on the trampoline but was allowed on truck rides and taken on walks to the lake in his cup. The frog did get the opportunity to pee on both Gibson and Lorelai, only for them to giggle and say things like “Potty training this frog is harder then Thor was.” Thor is our dog, who is always allowed to be around in and out of home and car. I would ask through the day what this frog’s name was and it had become “Midget Frog,” my kids do not bother with politically correct verbiage. I was thrilled they were getting along  and I cannot blame them because it all seemed fitting to me. As I called them into the dining room for lunch they asked if the frog could come. Again I am soft so I said yes and on that Saturday, we entertained ourselves and Midget Frog at lunch. Latter, when I had finally come to my senses, we released Midget Frog out in the small garden area off our garage. The tears on Lorelai’s and Gibson’s faces were real. And to be honest they had the most fun day with Midget but that Frog was probably glad to get out of the loving grasp of these kids and out of bumpy rides from one fort to the other across our yard.  While my children were sad that they couldn’t keep him, they were again ready for another adventure as they discussed new ways to build a home for a frog while walking into the house for a bed time story.


The Incredible Frogs of Borneo

harlequin flying frog

Harlequin Flying Frog – photo by Brad Josephs

Join Brad Josephs for a visual feast of the beautiful frogs of Borneo.  This article includes recordings of some of the frogs and an excellent Youtube that Brad put together.

If you love these little critters, you’ve got to see this wonderful tour.

See the article at: http://www.alaskabearsandwolves.com/watch-the-incredible-frogs-of-borneo/


Save Land and Save Frogs with the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust

by Sim Barrow

It is just after sunset as I make my way through the dense grass and shallow pools at Wilson Springs Preserve in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The thunderstorms from earlier in the day have subsided, and the horizon glows with the remaining light of the day.  With clipboard and pencil in hand, I stop at the edge of an embankment and wait. After a few minutes, the relative quiet is interrupted by a chorus of leopard frogs, American toads and spring peepers.  These are the sounds that drew me to the site, and are the reason for my evening visit to the Preserve.

Frog and toad activity at Wilson Springs Preserve is no small matter for the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust. Protecting wildlife habitat is one of our highest priorities in our work to conserve the natural landscapes of our region.  Whether through conservation easements or by receiving land as a donation, we ensure that those lands will continue to serve as a place for wildlife forever, even as the human population grows.

Of course, seeing the land preserved is just the beginning. With each conserved property we commit to the ongoing stewardship of the land, which includes biomonitoring, or the tracking of native plant and animal species like frogs and toads. The information we gain from biomonitoring is used to inform land management practices like restoration activities and invasive plant removal. It also serves as an indicator of the overall health of the habitat. Because frogs and toads are such great indicator species, it makes sense for the land trust to specifically monitor for them.

For this reason, we are excited to integrate the FrogWatch USA frog monitoring program into our biomonitoring plan.  Citizen-science programs are an excellent way to engage with the community and help people enjoy and appreciate the outdoors. It is also a helpful resource for nonprofits like the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust that have limited staff capacity.  We look forward to recruiting and training new FrogWatch volunteers in 2017 to help us monitor frogs and toads on some of our properties.  It’s also a great opportunity for current volunteers to explore new areas and support local conservation efforts.

Join me and the other NWA Chapter Coordinators this February 25 from 1pm-6pm for the first FrogWatch training workshop of the year. The workshop will be held at the Historic Ozark Mountain Smokehouse (1725 Smokehouse Trail Fayetteville, AR 72701). There will be a special trip to our Wilson Springs Preserve following the workshop, where we will practice the skills taught in the training. We may even hear crawfish frogs making their characteristic “snoring” sound! Contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org to register for the training.

With your help, we can all protect habitat for frogs and toads in Northwest Arkansas. Thank you, volunteers, for your commitment to frog and toad conservation!


2017 Arkansas Frogs and Toads Calendar now available

2017 Arkansas Frogs and Toads CalendarThe 2017 Arkansas Frogs and Toads Calendar is now available for a $10 donation.

  • Excellent images of Arkansas frogs, toads, tadpoles, and egg strings!
  • Each species call and season
  • Information about the citizen science frog monitoring program – FrogWatch USA
  • Phenology chart for all 23 Arkansas frog and toad species
  • Six images and descriptions of Endangered Species (NEW!)
  • Six images and descriptions of Invasive Species (NEW!)

2017 Arkansas Frogs and Toads CalendarWe printed just 200 of these calendars.

When they are gone, they are gone.

For more information and to get your calendar by PayPal or credit card,

CLICK HERE

Thank you for your support of Arkansas Frogs and Toads!


Doctor Frog is in!

Doctor Frog

Will Doctor Frog cure you someday?

Doctor Frog and his bag of medical wonders may be able to cure your ailment!  Frogs and toads produce chemical cocktails on their skins to deter predators from eating them.  Those unique compounds are being used for many medical applications such as cancer cures and pain killers.  Dr. Jodi Rowley of the Australian Museum Research Institute has written an excellent article about the curative aspects of “Frog Goo” which you can read HERE – Frog goo to the rescue.


Master Gardeners can help Frogs

the buck garden in new jersayAttention Gardeners (Master and otherwise)

Peg and I recently talked to Master Gardeners at the annual state meeting held in Eureka Springs.  All Gardeners can do a lot to help save the Earth’s biodiversity and frogs and toads in particular.  Over 40% of the world’s amphibians are currently at risk of extinction due, in part, to pollution.

Actions Master Gardeners and others can take

  • Plant natives – avoid imported plants which may out-compete local species and become invasive.  In addition, pollinators may be disrupted by the imports.  Native species will thrive with less care than imports.  One invasive to avoid is Bradford Pear Trees.
  • Avoid Chemicals – Pesticides, Herbicides, and chemical Fertilizers all end up washing downstream into rivers and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.  Every year there is a 5,000 square mile dead zone along the shorelines of Louisiana and Texas from gardener’s use of chemicals that wash down the Mississippi River.  Frogs and toads like fresh water environments!  This website has natural alternatives for weed and bug control:  http://www.gardensalive.com/
  • Build a Pond – “If you build it, they will come.”  There are lots of good articles on the internet for building a frog pond.  Check out http://www.savethefrogs.org/ponds  Frogs and toads will find your pond in short order.  The tadpoles will eat any algae buildup and the adults will eat any mosquito larvae.Toad Houses
  • Place a Toad House –  You can get a fancy one as pictured or just turn over an old terracotta pot and knock out an entrance.  Your toad will stay there during the day and may hibernate there in the winter.  Be sure to place your “toad abode” under some shady foliage and make sure the bottom is open so Mr. Toad can absorb moisture through his stomach in contact with the ground.

Gardeners and Master Gardeners can have a direct impact on whether frogs and toads make it through the current mass extinction by making intelligent choices in their gardening practices.


Frog Card Deck – Pocket Guide

Frog Card Deck

Have you ever been hiking in the woods and come across a frog or toad and wondered what kind it was?  Then this Arkansas Frogs and Toads – Frog Card Deck is for you.  There are full color images of all the frogs and toads on these laminated 2 7/8″ by 4″ cards with full descriptions on the backs.

You can obtain your Frog Card Deck for a donation of $10 which includes shipping by clicking the button below.




Frog Card Deck



2016 Frog Calendar Available

2016 Arkansas Frogs and Toads Calendar

Frog CalendarThis 8½” by 11″ full-color frog calendar includes:

  • Full descriptions of 12 Arkansas species
  • Images taken by Arkansans
  • A chart of species calling times
  • Information about FrogWatch USA
  • Holidays and phases of the moon

 

 

This frog calendar is available for a $10 donation which includes shipping.

To order, go to http://www.arkansasfrogsandtoads.org/arkansas-frogs-toads-calendar


Frog Quilt Opportunity

Donated by Carol and Ron Beasley

Donated by Carol and Ron Beasley

Another Frog Quilt Opportunity

We had a frog quilt opportunity a couple of years ago, and this one is even better.  Master Naturalists, Carol and Ron Beasley, have donated this beautiful 80″ by 90″ frog quilt to help raise funds for Arkansas Frogs and Toads.  We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to raise public awareness of frogs, toads, and their habitat – why they are important, why they are in trouble, and what can be done to help them.  This is accomplished through environmental and conservation education, outreach, and training of citizen scientists for FrogWatch USA™ and similar monitoring programs.

Tickets for this frog quilt cost $5 for 6 tickets.  The drawing will take place next spring.  You can purchase tickets by clicking on the link below and giving your name and phone number (so we can call you with the good news).  Notice that the quilting has lots of dragonflies!  How cool is that?  Something for the frogs to eat.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE $5 FOR 6 TICKETS – GOOD LUCK!