The Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor)

This was a historic day. It was the first day I've ever seen a frog in my garden. I've seen a toad or two but never an actual frog! Amphibians are a good indicator of the heath of an environment. They are kind of like environmental canaries in a coal mine, if something is wrong they are one of the first animals to become affected. Hopefully that means that my efforts in organic garden techniques are helping the environment around our little piece of paradise. This little tree frog was hiding behind my rain gutter and popped out when I was checking the connection for my rain barrel. It's called a gray tree frog - a real imaginative name right? we could look at the binomial nomenclature and go with Hyla versicolor - I think I'll call just him a gray tree frog...

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency gray tree frogs are usually only seen during mating season when they come down out of the tree canopies to lay eggs in the water. Why am I talking about a tree frog on a gardening blog? It's all related. Tadpoles eat the larvae of nasty bugs like mosquitoes which can make gardening and being outdoors quite miserable. Adult frogs are also good at eating many other annoying or damaging insects. They are very welcome in my garden!

To invite these kinds of creatures into your garden consider adding habitat areas that provide them with food, hiding places, and places to raise their children - or at least lay eggs! Also go very easy on the pesticides and herbicides, or better yet ditch them altogether - they can have harmful effects on these small creatures. 

What is the most interesting creature you've seen in your garden lately?

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