Green Frog

Toads scuttle about in the dark

spring peeper


Coming home from work Friday afternoon, I noticed that the wind had changed and was now coming out of the north, along with ominous dark clouds on the northwestern horizon.  I hurried home and packed up my gear, then swung by to pick up Marty before turning the vehicle south on I-57.  We were heading down to southern Illinois, and hopefully we could stay ahead of the cold front pushing downstate, at least for a while.

We were hooking up with a group from Indiana and Iowa, including Greg, Nick, and Don from the field herping forum. As we pulled into the campground near Grand Tower there was no sign of anyone besides the RV campers there.  "Probably down at Winter's Pond, frog walking," I decided.  That's where I would be. We hurriedly put up our tents by headlight and flashlight, and headed over to the Snake Road.  The edge of the cold front was rolling through, and we were getting a little bit of rain now.  Sure enough, Don, Nick, Greg and some of the other Indiana group were there trying to get flashlight beams on chorus frogs calling from puddles along the road's edge.  Nick was trying to call in a Barred Owl, but I'm afraid our arrival disturbed the attempt. It's a great spot for both Barred and Screech Owls.

We walked south on the road a bit, catching a number of Dwarf American Toads and a Fowler's Toad or two in our lights. A Green Frog next, one of good size, and then someone found a nice-looking but small Gray Tree Frog, which threw us a bit, having neither the flash marks of either a Gray or a Birdvoiced.  We left it at that, although I was leaning towards avivoca. Further down the road we began to hear Spring Peepers calling, and managed to locate a few males, including one calling from a branch close to the road.  I snapped a few pictures, and Don was able to get some video of the calling frog.  A single Green Treefrog rounded out our nocturnal frogging session, and we all headed back to camp to get some shuteye.

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