Shallow Thoughts

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Wed, 18 Jul 2007

So that's why they call them Bullfrogs!

We were heading past the scum pond at Walden West for a quick afternoon hike when I heard Dave, just ahead of me, make a very loud and very rude noise.

Or maybe not. He immediately turned around and asked, "Was that you?" I insisted truthfully that it wasn't.

Weird! We walked on, and behind us we heard more odd noises -- sometimes like machinery, and sometimes like a cow bellowing. We figured it was part of the summer school at Walden West -- maybe they bring in barnyard animals to show the kids.

But the cow bellowing was still going on when we got back to the car, and we could tell now it wasn't coming from the school. It was coming from the pond. A thought occurred to me -- "What do bullfrogs sound like? Like, maybe, a bull?" I had to go see.

Sure enough, the green, scummy pond was covered with big frogs! I counted about 9 visible at any one time. Mostly they were just floating in the scum, but every now and then one would bellow, or dive and swim somewhere else.

Mostly they ignored us ... except the ones near the edge of the pond. If we tried to walk up near them and look down on them, they disappeared underwater immediately. Maybe we looked like a heron or egret.

I know I'm supposed to hate bullfrogs. They're an invasive species with a voracious appetite for local species. My bio teacher told us to kill them on sight if possible (not that we could have done so here even if we'd wanted to). But I found it fun and unusual to see any frog at all here ... let alone a frog chorus right in front of us in broad daylight.

A few photos.

Tags: ,
[ 21:44 Jul 18, 2007    More nature | permalink to this entry ]