Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Seasonal Chores and Giant Tree Frogs

Now what chore could possibly start with a step ladder, a vacuum cleaner, wasp killer, sun protection gear, and WD-40 ?

Ponder that if you will ... you cheaters can scroll on down past the frogs for the pictorial answer.

Yesterday, I went over to St. Augustine to help Mom and Dad out with any chores that may have piled up along the way. My big brother lives there and does more than his fair share due to his proximity, so it was definitely my turn, and there was this one big chore that is time sensitive so to speak.

Traditionally, this seasonal chore is mine to do and Edward (I know) forced me to stop procrastinating.

While doing the primary task, I came across this giant tree frog tucked in a window corner.

I saw this frog once before at night in Mom's shrimp plant jungle, but it got away before I could catch it.

I don't know about you, but to me, a tree frog should not fill your hand.

It's waaaaaaaaaayyyyy bigger than any native tree frog I know of ... so I assume he's an exotic that came in on some nursery shipment from la Florida del sur.

Definitely a tree frog ... although I think I saw fingertips like that in the original (and much better) movie version of "The War Of The Worlds".

So, back to the chore...

This is a west facing window on the house I grew up in. It has weathered hurricanes from deadly Dora to the most recent events. After the summer of 2004, Mom and Dad invested in hurricane shutters.

The shutters coupled with a strong concrete block house make this a pretty safe place to be in our seasonal storms, but the shutters need some annual maintenance to ensure that they will be easy to close when a storm is approaching.

Mostly this consists of cleaning leaves and bugs out of the track that the storm shutters slide through and giving each and every moving part a squirt of good ol' WD-40.

"Fortress Hurricania"

Yes, it's very dark inside with the shutters up and the power knocked out by hurricane winds, but that is a minor inconvenience compared to a breached structure.

Picture by MOM!

It was hot and there were 9 windows to clean and lube, plus I got to clean out the gutters and mount a new flagpole thingie on the big pine out front.

Lunch was 2 different types of chicken, mashed taters, kosher pickles, and spiced apples courtesy of the Publix store. So, it wasn't all work and no play.

That was topped off by a homemade blackberry pie baked by my brother's imaginary girlfriend, Annette.

(Everyone else has met her except me, so I'm beginning to wonder ...)

Annette, if you do exist and you are reading this ...it was spectacular.


Susan said...

N-I-C-E frog!

About the hurricane shutters... do they need to be closed before things get really bad outside? It's so much fun to watch the wind and rain.

I remember tracking hurricane Donna (1960) on the longitute/latitude maps given out by the banks in Fort Myers. I remember the thrill of going outside in the eye of the storm. (24 hours of candlelight with my family would not have been fun.)

myamuhnative said...

FC, It looks like a Cuban tree frog.Another invasive exotic. I grew up with them and only recently learned that they eat our native frogs. Too bad they don't eat bufos instead.

robin andrea said...

Great big frog! Too bad it probably is an invasive species. Other than that, what a beauty.

Good job on those hurricane shutters.

threecollie said...

Don't ALL chores start with WD-40?
I mean it even makes good cologne for a redneck kinda date.
And what do you do....what is the right thing to do...when you capture an exotic and invasive critter like that? (I notice it wasn't on the menu).

Anonymous said...

Fc you are such a good son for helping mom when she needs it. We all do our part for our parents no matter what. By the way kool frog. jabo

Dani said...

It's so wonderful that your family lives kinda close and you can help each other out.Your a kind soul for sure FC.

Laura said...

It does look like the invasive Cuban Tree Frog. (I could be wrong, of course).
On the other hand, we do have a lot of them around our house and most of them live behind the shutters, too. They're almost impossible to get rid of!

Here's a good link, if you're interested, one worth scrolling through. They've been found in toilets! I shutter to think of what would happen if they were to pop up in our bathroom.


Great pic, btw. Looks like you've been doing a LOT of pushups!

Eva said...

That's a big Cuban treefrog. Like myamuhnative said they eat our native frogs. One day they may displace them all together. UF and the FWC suggest killing them if they're in your yard to help protect our native species.

Miz S said...

I would have a hard time killing a frog because it is not a native. I mean, I get the whole thing about invasive species, but it bothers me that the frog has to suffer the consequences of human folly.

Then again, I mourn the ants that I step on accidentally so perhaps I need hardening.

And don't be getting all saucy now that Laura complimented your musculature.

SophieMae said...

GOOD GRAVY! I purt near slopped my dripper when I saw the size of that frawg! The little natives are bad enough. I don't mind frog frogs and toads, but the tree variety has that nasty habit of jumping on you and P'ing. And there's such a SPLOT when they make skin contact. *shudder*

Hurricane Teen said...

I love frog pictures...He's smiling! It's a shame he is probably invasive. Strange, but treefrogs are not to common a sight around our fairly wooded place...But they can be heard.

pablo said...

Love that blue (I may have said this before) of the house! Changes in latitude, changes in attitude, dude.

Anonymous said...

Woe Dude, a frog from the planet "Steroid." That is something, I bet they do take over. We lost one of our little one's yesterday,sliding door got it. But, I did spot another one peeking from a knot hole down in the woods,"nothing like your woods," our's just a small stand of trees.
Bro J

cinbad122 said...

Personally, I prefer the jalapeno pickles!

SwampAngel65 said...

Yup, a Cuban Tree Frog. Yuck. One time we got up to our place in Lake Placid late one night and I found one in the toilet. OMG, I freaked out. Then the next time there was one hanging to the inside of the shower curtain. Again, I freaked out.

The next freak out was the bee invasion. I'll have to blog about that one of these days.

Such a good son to do all that for your folks. I bet you're the favorite ;)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I trust that that invasia did not live to see the rest of the day.

Cathy Sl said...

On getting rid of those frogs. Our local extension office recommends putting them in a plastic bag and placing them in the freezer to kill them. It is supposed to be humane, they just go to sleep... Anyway, my friend was doing her part to get rid of them around their house until her husband reached into the freezer for ice cubes and hauled out a bag of frozen frogs. Gave new meaning to the phrase, scream like a girl. LOL.

You are a good son, FC. But, I do not like these constant reminders that it is hurricane season!

Floridacracker said...

You have to close them from outside so ... just depends on how much bad you can tolerate.

I thought it would be that. Dang it.

I know, too bad it's a bad fellow here. Wonder if I could mail him back to Cuba?

Like the new pic!
Hey did you recognize the hat I'm wearing?

Thank you. My brother and I learned from watching our parents.

Trying to be.

Thanks :)
And thanks for the tips and the link. I had a feeling it was a Marielito, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

I'm hoping a St. Augustine winter might do the trick on this frog.

Miz S,
Too late, I've been saucy all day.
I know the dilemma you speak of. I really like frogs so this is not like feral cats, armadillos, or burmese pythons in the glades.
In the end, I was a softy and let him go ... assuming a north FL winter will get him so I won't have to.

They are sticky ain't they?

Where ya been lad?

Why, you parrothead you.
I'm impressed.

Bro J,
Oops. I guess a sliding door could be bad news to a tree frog.

And I'm gonna bring you some too.

Definitely no favorites at our house ... good thing 'cause my brother does a lot more than me.
Lets hear about that bee invasion!

Hoss, I wimped out and let him go.
I'm bad.

Cathy S,
I think that is a very humane way to dispatch an ectotherm.
Sorry about the 'cane refrain.

threecollie said...

Oh, I didn't recognize the hat, but Liz did instantly. Probably because she has one just like it...Sons of Durham...we wondered if you had occasion to wear it.

Freste said...

Only the oldie movie, "Frogs" would creep me out more.
Nice fat fella/fella-ette you're squeezing there. Amazing adult aquatic arboreal anura. Ambitious amplexus assumed antagonistic. Although asymptomatic, asynchronous appearance afforded amiably?

Hurricane Teen said...

I have been off thoroughly enjoying every minute of my time left here in my beloved hometown. I leave this Monday!
There's a really big thing in the works for the blog right now, though. You will really enjoy it, I think, but it will be a while before it is finished.

Sharon said...

That's one fat tree frog!

Paintsmh said...

Hehehe I know who sent you that hat. And I know who they got it from! Good taste friend! Sons of Durham will never let you down! LOL

Anonymous said...

I put those Cuban tree frogs to the BB gun whenever I see them. The chickens find them to be delicious.

Welcome to the glamorous world of invasives, Fc. The huge finger-pads are a dead giveaway - plus the size. Awful, awful creatures for Florida. Surely they're wonderful for Cuba. Too bad they didn't stay there.

Floridacracker said...

It rides in the JEEP.

Frogs! Fantastic Film!

Good luck on your grand adventure!

Too fat it seems.

Thanks again!!!

Yeah, I thought of you when I accepted it was what it was.

Jennifer McIntyre said...

Cuban tree frogs are classified as invasive and they eat our native tree frogs. They weren't introduced on purpose, so this isn't "the folly of man." Freezing them is indeed a humane form of control, although it's not a law or anything - just a suggestion.

UF/IFAS Press release on Cuban tree frogs featuring wildlife specialist Dr. Steve Johnson.

Dr. Know said...

Wow, FC, what a frog. But if it eats the delicate natives, it would have to go. I love the little green tree frogs, that gluttonous thing, not so much.

I have a suggestion for the storm shutters. WD-40 is a solvent and very minor lubricant -- most flashes off, leaving little lube behind. You would do better to use white lithium or another waterproof paste lube instead. FWIW.

Here is my current summer project -- top this one for sheer excruciating heat stroke, soreness and pain.

Floridacracker said...

Welcome to Pure Florida.
Still amounts to folly of man when we don't control what comes into our borders.
In my opinion.

Yes, if we meet again, I'll send this frog to Siberia.

Alan said...

In the fitst picture of the frog in your hand he looks quite happy!

And I must now question your true Florida backwoodsedness - where was the duct tape during all of this hurricane preparation!? :)