Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Florida Frog Fandango UPDATED (that means corrected.. ahem)

I don't usually start off or end with "bad" photos here at Pure Florida.
Actually, I try to keep them out of the middle too, but this post includes two technically bad shots that are simply to give some idea of the frognacious night we had here at PFHQ recently.

So, photo number one below is dark, far from the subjects, fuzzy,and there are rain drops on my lens,  but it does hint at the Anuramazing scene down at the "pond" Sunday night.

Photo number 5, later in this post, has the same flaws, but serves the same purpose.

If you click and enlarge it, you can have some fun seeking out frogs on the shore, in the water, and in the willows.

Look for white eyes ...
...sometimes only one white eye ...
... frogs wink.

 We're here! We're here!
 I'm calling these green tree frogs, even though the spots threw me at first, since most of the green tree frogs on my window panes at night are uniformly green. The UF guide mentioned golden spots on the back though, and my audio sounds like their green frog audio online ... so, that's my story and I am sticking to it like a tree frog on a window.

... Until convinced otherwise ....

Which happened almost immediately of course. This just validates the teacher proverb about, "Your first guess is probably the correct one."
Before publishing I went back and forth between barking and green treefrog for the ID. These frogs looked a lot stouter than my svelte greens on the window screens, but they were all puffed up and the singing sounded mostly like greens to my ears and barkers can be green while greens can be spotted.

So I went with an unconfident green diagnosis, knowing that Swampy and others would come to my rescue just like Doug does when I post a bug that I have not identified correctly.

Mistakes like this come from creating posts on your lunch hour ... 

(I writing interim biology assessments for the county this week).

... and hitting PUBLISH POST without too much fact checking.

Sorry about that, Chief.

 I walked down to the pond in total darkness and in a light rain with my spotlight turned off.
 The sound was all encompassing, you could hear it so well inside the house a hundred feet upslope that my wife thought the windows in the bedroom were open.
They were not.

Checkout the sound wave distortion in the pond surface surrounding Mr. Bubblethroat in the picture above.


The video below is mostly an audio experience, so here are a few tips.
  1. First, turn the volume all the way up on your computer ... as if you were going to listen to Sweet Home Alabama.
  2. Expect nothing but darkness and beautiful frog song for the first bit of the video. I started filming without light to capture their uninterrupted song as I walked through the woods. Sometimes they stop or slow down when you turn on a light and I wanted to record them as they were.
  3. There are moments when the camera struggles (or was it me) to focus in the dim light of my dying spotlight, so hang in there and don't give up during those moments.

15 comments:

Caroline said...

Philharmonic Phrogs! Amplified Amphibians! Noisy Neighbors!

threecollie said...

I love frogs...toads too...I spotted one there, but I have to ask...how do you sleep? lol

Anonymous said...

This Spring in Tallahassee I noticed that toads, after being gone for a few years, are suddenly back. -lesle

bill said...

Fantastic friggin' froggy frenzy!

Phenomenal!

mkircus said...

Thanks for a wonderful post. I haven't heard frogs that loud since canoe camping on the White River in Arkansas one early spring. That time it was the spring peepers.

We here (Anahuac NWR on the upper Texas coast is frog and toad poor right now due the soil being salty for over two years after Hurricane Ike and also due to our drought which has left maybe 80 - 90 percent of our wet places dry. We did have a green tree frog calling but I haven't heard him for several days.

swamp4me said...

I hear green tree frogs in chorus, but I see what looks more like barking tree frogs (I hear them, too). Things may not be as they seem down there is Flo-ree-da ;)

Dan said...

Wow, that's wonderful! The frogs sure don't look like green tree frogs to me but I look forward to an expert's opinion.

Floridacracker said...

Caroline,
Phinally! I missed that sound during the drought.

3Collie,
This kind of intensity only comes in pulses, but it's a good thing the pond is not just outside the house!


Lesle,
That is great news! There were a lot of toads laying eggs in our small goldfish pond by the house this week too.


Bill,
Amphitastic!

Mkircus,
Welcome! That is a long lasting effect of a hurricane storm surge that I had not thought about!
Thanks!


Swampy,
I was hoping you would chime in because I was not comfortable with that diagnosis of green treefrog and you are my green treefrog diva.
They looked too "stout", and of course the color was off. I even listened to the barking soundtrack online at the UF site, but it was in isolation and I think the chorus of greens overwhelmed me when I listened to my recording.
I'll let this float today and correct as comments come in. I really appreciate the input!!

Dan,
You may be right! See my answer to Swampy above. Thanks for that input.

Dani said...

That is so cool!

Thunder Dave said...

Now I'm really confused! Maybe it's just too early since I haven't finished my coffee yet.

Floridacracker said...

Dani,
What? You are not pronouncing them "cute"?
:)

Dave,
It's okay to be confused.
I do it all the time.

Dani said...

Major cuteness! lol

Suzanne said...

OMGOSH! I really enjoyed your post especially the frog songs. I live in central Indiana and we had a LOT of rain in the spring. There is a big field behind my apartment and it was flooded for a couple of months. I started hearing frogs -- big deep sounds. And then one night I was working at my computer and realized there was a huge racket going on outside. I opened the window and it was frogs, frogs, frogs. I called my sister and held the phone to the window and she could hear it. I just loved it. Thank you so much for the video. I enjoy your blog so much.

robin andrea said...

That's an amazing amount of sound. Seriously. It's a froggy cacophony!

eileeninmd said...

Wow, that is a lot of frog noise. And I thought I heard a lot of frogs in my yard. They are cute! Great photos and video.