The Nature Devotional

I Sure Do Know How to Pick(-erel) ‘Em!

Frogs and Toads have been some of my most beloved creatures on the planet since as long as I can remember. I don’t know if it had to do with the literary influence of Mr. Frog and Mr. Toad or the fact that my first stuffed animal was an African Bull Frog or that I just like the color green, but these funny little fellows have made my heart sing from a very early start.

Here in Kentucky we have a wide variety of these fine fellows. In the season, you can’t avoid hearing their rascally, baritone song demanding something from us all in the night.

Pickerel Frog, Bernheim Forest 2019
Photo Credit: H.M Carter, 2019

Pickerel Frogs are recognized by the slow snore-like call.

Females can lay up to 3,000 eggs at a time, adding to the level proliferation spring time brings for frogs and toads and there-by our free, non-negotiable concert.

They shimmer and glisten through in their own wetness, glimmering the folds of gold foil-like skin (dorsolateral folds) which run from the back of his eyes down the sides of his back .

These little guys are very enjoyable to me as they are quite photogenic and generous with that talent.

Green frogs often shy excitedly away from the camera, but these guys–among a few others–almost always let me get their close-up.

I never use the zoom-in on my camera phone so you can see how kind they have been to me… I love them for that!

Though they are forgiving about a picture or two, I wouldn’t try to put them in my mouth. They have a toxic secretion that supposedly tastes very bad. This protects them from predators–especially snakes, but also they occasional biologist, photographer or curious cat.

Pickerel Frog, Bernheim Forest 2019
Photo Credit: H.M. Carter, 2019

As with most other frogs, you can find this little guy near water sources such as ponds, bogs, creeks etc. Though you can also find them in meadows and fields in the summer, so watch where you step, lay or mow! 

They can easily be mistaken for a leopard frog–who can also be kind about photos, but are missing the green on their head and neck. 

The Joy a Toad Can Bring, H.M Carter at Pine Creek Barrens, Shepardsville, KY Summer 2019
Bernheim N.I.T. Field Trip Training

Photo Credit: I. Goodman, 2019

The Pickerel is a funny little frog, they have a lot of character. They spirit about with carelessness and caution–suspicious, but all together curious. I enjoy them much. They are silly and mischievous in their energy and activity. I enjoy sharing space with them and crossing their paths when I am able. 

We could stand to learn a little from these rambunctious singers. The lesson I gather?

Don’t run or hop away until you’ve looked it in the eye and asked it a question first.

Be curious, but clever.

Know that you look good in that ray of sunlight and sing your song so loudly you have to use your whole body…get someone to listen.

No need to be afraid of a little pond water either.