The Green Tree Frog of Southern Illinois
– by Gary Marks
In a previous article called The Best Worst Photos of Rocky Bluff Trail there was a photo of a frog emerging under a leaf. The photo above is of the same frog.
In this previous article, I had ventured out to explore a Southern Illinois trail on a hot day with the intentions of taking acceptable photos with an unacceptable camera application.
I almost left my “real” camera at home so it would not deter me from the assignment at hand, but as I have learned over the years it is always safer to lug this monstrosity around rather than miss a photo opportunity.
Halfway down the trail while looking for a good angle of on uprooted tree, I noticed this small green frog clinging to the leaves of a Jack-in-the-pulpit.
As I bent down to get closer with my camera, I expected it to jump away rather quickly, but what I found was a “sleepy” frog that apparently did not consider the giant above it to be a threat.
It tucked its legs underneath its vibrant green body and proceeded to put up with an intruder snapping away for well over 30 minutes.
I was happy I had brought my DSLR and couldn’t believe the patience of this animal. I was grateful and soon left with the feeling that I had witnessed something very special on a hot Southern Illinois weekend.
Cool Info on the Green Tree Frog
Upon further research, I was amazed that to find out that the green tree frog although common in Southern Illinois is rare to non-existent in the the rest of the state.
Also I found out the reason this frog seemed “sleepy”. According to enature.com:
During the day frequently found asleep on underside of large leaves or in other moist, shady places.
That defintely fits the description for the frog above. The green tree frog, also, likes to stay close to bodies of water and prefers swamps, floodplains, and marshes.
Several sites claim that its call sounds like a cowbell. Click this link to the IDNR webpage to decide for yourself.
For more information on the GreenTree Frog check out the Illinois Natural History Survey Website.
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