Thursday, May 17, 2012

Treefrogs and More

Another stretch of rainy days ended yesterday, petering out by mid-day.  The moist, muggy air has helped the garden grow, although the sun is most welcome now. Despite the spate of rainy spells in May the mosquitoes and black fly populations are surprisingly and pleasantly low. A droughty April surely helped squelch the hatch of the pesky bugs.

Last evening gray treefrogs trilled from the trees in our yard. Four or five males were competing to attract females. Their loud bird-like trilling belies their small size, only two inches in length. I've spotted a treefrog only a few times as they are well-camouflaged, changing colors according to light, humidity, and temperature. Often they look just like the lichen-covered tree bark. As I listened to their trills I pictured the diminutive frog with huge sticky toe pads and warty, lichen-colored skin melting into the tree branch, hidden from all predators while charming the female treefrogs.

In the wee hours of the morning the barred owls cackled and hooted from the backyard as a cool breeze wafted into our open bedroom windows. On our dawn walk we heard three type of thrushes: a veery, a wood thrush, and several robins. All the birds are busy foraging for insects in the sudden sunshine. Many are already feeding young, including the pair of phoebes beneath our deck. I saw about three or four small heads hunkered low in the nest, while their parents were off gathering food.

We had another sort of hatch as a result of the recent rains. The shiitake logs sprouted and I gathered a half dozen mushrooms just now.
It feels good to see and feel the morning sun, after days of gray sky. May is such a lush, busy month for plants, for birds and frogs, for gardening, for weeding. The days are full.


  1. Ellen, you continue to amaze! Maybe I'm just naïve, but I'd venture to say that there are very few people who have their own shiitake logs??

    Your posts are brief (which I appreciate), but each one is jam-packed with interesting and enjoyable reading!


  2. Thanks John! I took the shiitakes with me on a visit to my sister's family in Vermont these past three days. I helped her start the logs about 8 years ago and the last few years they've been at our house. She made a terrific pizza with the shiitakes while I was there - delicious, especially when they are your own mushrooms! I am so glad you enjoy the postings. Ellen