That froggie on the window

Photo courtesy CAROL WRIGHT

On a recent summer night this frog feasted on bugs as it attached itself to our kitchen window.

Sometimes I wonder why plates, cups and silverware were invented.

It would be less work to not wash so many of these that pile up on the kitchen counter. My brother and I do use paper plates quite often, but they are bad for the environment.

So, there I was one night, scrubbing leftover egg from a skillet, cursing under my breath. Actually, I tried to cheer myself up by singing “Walking On Sunshine,” but it wasn’t working very well.

I paused for a moment, then glanced at the kitchen window. Did something just move up there? It moved again. I couldn’t believe what I saw.

A frog attached itself to the outside kitchen window pane and was having a blast catching bugs that were attracted to the kitchen light.

I dropped the scrubber in the murky dishwater and smiled. This little guy or gal was very skilled at releasing its whiplash tongue to catch and dine on small millers, moths and a multitude of crawlies. It was, well, cute, too. Its movements were just about as quick as that long tongue. It was quite the entertainer.

My mood became less gloomy, and I briefly left the kitchen to grab my camera, hoping there would be a sufficient supply of bugs to keep it satisfied until I returned.

My camera isn’t fancy, and I do not own a large zoom lens. I did own a nice Nikon, but it needed repair work. So, I had to make do with what I had: a too tiny, digital number.

That frog hopped all over the window pane. Just when I thought it would stay put for a few seconds, it shifted its long legs to the left, then climbed up the window a bit, then traveled sideways.

I became slightly frustrated. I kindly told it to “please stay still” for only a minute or so, but it acted as if it didn’t hear me, or it didn’t appreciate my giving it orders.

Like a child who loves to get under your skin, it continued to ignore me. It was busy, hopping and sliding around, enjoying its dinner. It was difficult trying to get this frog in focus. The picture didn’t turn out so great, but I could tell it was a frog on the window, loving every insect it gulped down.

The next day I decided to do a little research about frogs and toads. What are some of their differences? How are they similar?

Frogs, like the one on the window, have long legs. Yes, I got that impression. Their legs are longer than their head and body. Hmm. Isn’t that something?

Toads, however, have much shorter legs and prefer to crawl around.

Frogs have smooth, kind of slimy skin. (But, I don’t consider it slimy at all.) Toads have dry, warty skin.

A myth about toads is that they give humans warts if they pick them up. Not true. However, they can secrete elements that aren’t so pleasant and can pee in your hands.

These are their defense mechanisms. What human or animal would want those on their own skin or in their mouth? No wonder dogs and cats spit out toads and frogs.

The common traits of frogs and toads are just as fascinating. Of course, both are amphibians, in the order Anura, which means “without a tail.” Interestingly, toads are a subclassification of frogs. In other words, all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. Huh? I won’t go into a lot of detail about this so-called fact. I assume biologists know what they are talking about.

One thing, however, is quite mistaken: some scientists believe that all toads are poisonous but frogs are not. Wrong! I know this isn’t true because I’ve learned the opposite from others who experienced the poisoning effects from frogs.

No one should mess around with the poison dart frog and similar species. These beautifully-adorned frogs are from Central and South America. They are pretty, but you take a great gamble if you handle them.Their magnificent colors are deceiving.

As for the sweet, little frog on the outside window pane, it remained there for the next three or four nights. It was as content as could be. Then, one night in a flash it was gone.

That was a pretty smart frog. It found an ingenious way to get dinner, not on the ground but on an outside kitchen window where light from within attracted all those insects.

Bravo, little frog, bravo!

Now, please come back so you can distract me from washing all those dirty dishes.

Carol Wright is a CourierTraveler Correspondent. She can be reached at carolann6110@gmail.com.

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