It is frog collecting time of year. No, I don’t mean starting a collection of frog ornaments or even live frogs! I mean stepping in to give them a hand.
Frog Collecting Brings Back Memories
Buckets Of Frogs
Have you ever come across a road teeming with frogs trying to cross it to get to a pond? The first time that happened to me was many years ago when I lived in Upper Beeding in West Sussex. I was coming home from a night out and it was pouring with rain and I took the short cut back to our house. And the road was covered with moving frogs. Some were already squashed by cars, but the majority were climbing over each other trying to get across to the pond.
I turned the car around and went home a different way. Then went back with an umbrella, a torch and a bucket! I spent ages putting frogs in the bucket and taking them over the road. I don’t know how many I moved but I went home feeling I had done something useful.
I read somewhere that the wet weather helps frogs to travel. They breathe through their skin and sunshine and dry weather makes it them dry out. Frogs move around whenever it is wet, they look for worms and other insects that have been brought out by the rain. But their main movement period is during mating season when instinct drives them to their main breeding site.
For several years I and a few other people went out with buckets at ‘frog collecting time of year’. The aim was to get as many of them as possible safely over to the pond before they got squished by cars.
We also campaigned locally to have frog tunnels created under a busy main road. Nothing happened and I moved out of the area. But when I drove past several years later I was delighted to see that barriers had been erected along one section of the road, ushering frogs and other critters towards a small tunnel so they could cross over the road in peace.
Frogs And Pets
The next house I lived in, also in West Sussex, had a small pond and a stream out the front of the house. There was always some movement between the two which provided hours of entertainment for my cats. Our cat Maximillian was totally transfixed by the pond. Here is an extract from a blog I wrote about one particular frog experience.
Maxi once caught a frog and was heaving it out of the pond when I got there and grabbed the frog off him. It didn’t seem to be breathing but was otherwise undamaged. I sat there, on the grass, splashing it with water and pushing its chest in the vague hope of bringing it back. I had just about given up when there was movement. It sat in my hand for a moment then the frog leaped back into the pond. Much to Maxi’s annoyance.
But it wasn’t just the cats! One day, my chihuahua Holly was by the pond and suddenly rolled over onto something in the grass. Any dog owner knows that move! I didn’t get there in time and sure enough there was a dead decomposing frog that she was rolling in. Luvverly! I can’t tell you how many baths it took to get rid of the smell!
I have now lived in Central Italy for many years. We have a large pond/lake near the house and it is full of frogs including bullfrogs. We quite often see them when we are walking the dogs. Some of the bullfrogs are enormous and the dogs make sure they go round them. I also find frogs in my garden and in my garden pots where the soil is moist. The noise the frogs make in that pond at times can be deafening! We also find quite a few toads.
We see them on the road in the rain. Some friends come to stay and this is what they wrote about frogs in our visitor book:
The Frog Slalom from Casa Due to Bruno’s – this should be a classic on the rally scene!
Why Am I Thinking About Frogs Today?
Yesterday we had a massive storm, 80mm of rain fell in an hour and a half according to the local authority. Today, last week in May, we awoke to gorgeous sunshine and set off happily to walk the dogs. Only to come across some little baby frogs trying to cross the road heading towards the pond. Some had already got flattened by passing cars and it was already quite hot in the sun. So I collected up the stragglers and put them in the wet grass heading down towards the pond. It made me smile because it reminded me of the first time I got involved in frog collecting. Sometimes it us as if life takes you a full circle don’t you think?
My thanks to my artist friend Mary Bedy for allowing me to use her frog photo in this blog.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
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Thank you for reading!
Interesting, Dorothy! I have a small video of the spring-frog chorus in the local hiking trail. Not a frog to be seen in the video but it’s a LOUD chorus!
Yes it is incredible the noise they make. I think we notice it most at night in the summer when they go crazy as the day cools off.