A Luminescent Florida Leopard Frog (And a Few Fairy Frogs)
Hand in hand, with fairy grace, Will we sing, and bless this place. —William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
As we hiked the Apoxee Trail in the Grassy Waters Preserve, it was often flooded — pictures forthcoming, because wading through 4-6 inches of swamp / marsh waters in the Florida Everglades is always an adventure! My most worried comment, 2 hours into the trail: “Errr, it appears as though these waters are now even with the swamp.”
But everywhere I looked, itsy-bitsy cricket frogs were jumping about the trail, and these lovelies were hiding in the vegetation and waters. He’s a Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala), common to the marshes, swamps, and cypress swamps of our area. The frogs range from dark brown to bright green. Apparently, the existence of a subspecies — the Florida Leopard Frog (Rana utricularia sphenocephala) — is debated among the experts.
Their colors are pure brilliance, with luminescent greens flashing here and there. There were so many frogs I wanted to photograph, but it was tricky nabbing them as they leapt into the waters or darted into the undergrowth. Just magical. So naturally I had to include one of my favorite children’s illustrators — Ida Rentoul Outhwaite — and her more famous images of frogs and fairies.
Nature’s colors, intensity, and variations continue to amaze — may your weekend be equally as spectacular and magical as this brilliant but diminutive frog!
I’d love to cross paths with these little ones!
Such remarkable photographs you took!! Interesting, educational commentary, too! Thanks for sharing!!!
Aw, thanks so much! I’m glad you love them as much as I do… They’re so adorable — I love frogs, but these bright little guys in the swamp are a sight to behold. 🙂
My daughter has a special affinity for frogs. When she was little, she would walk around the neighborhood catching them; then she’d release them into our yard so that we would have more frog life! Amazing animals (frogs AND kids)! ❤
Hahahah — I love it! That’s wonderful… I adore frogs, their variations and colors continue to delight. I see them glued to our little home, and I scream like a banshee. They’re amazing little creatures. 🙂
I really enjoy reading your blog!
I nominated you for 3 awards
CONGRATS, and so many thanks for the nomination! I always love visiting your beautiful blog… And I can’t wait to investigate your other noms! Thanks again, from one (crazy??) cat person to another. 🙂
Great frog images.:)
Thanks so much! He was tricky to nab… Getting swamp-level before he hopped away. 🙂
Gives the word “sloe-eyed” a whole new meaning. Awesome pictures! You are quick on the draw!
Hee, thanks!!! He was VERY tricky to capture… Had to get swamp-level, before he hopped away. But he was just sooooo unique and pretty. 🙂
that’s an impressive looking frog! We have a lot of frogs here as we have a pond with no fish, so they thrive, but not this type of frog. Interesting to see and lovely photos, thank you. 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed this little guy as much as I did! I love frogs — their variety, their colors, and their critical role in various ecosystems. When I see one glued to our little home, I scream like a banshee, I’m always so excited!! 🙂
I love children’s books involved with animals, we in Sweden have Elsa Beskow , one fanatastic animal-man lover!
Your area has some AMAZING illustrators featuring children and animals… from centuries past to now! Conservationists and artists alike, I’m so jealous!
Those are very pretty little fellows!
Isn’t he amazing? I love his colors; I was so happy to nab him before he darted into the undergrowth…
This frog is really cool ! I haven’t seen a southern leopard frog before, but a northern one. Love this nature photos. I have a frog living in my little pond and he croaks all day long – hiding so I can never seen him. 😦
Isn’t he adorable? I had never seen one, on any of our hikes — probably just chance, or lack of waters (we usually try to hike in the winter down here, which means less swampy waters). I love his colors!
It’s amazing the sounds that can come out of the tiniest frogs… We have bullfrogs, and the NOISE! Wow. But the pig frogs sound JUST like grunting gators, and you have to pause to really get your bearings — because like you said, you can never see either one! Tricky little things!
Pig frogs…??? Really? Sounds like an oxymoron! LOL
I just realized I have a rare picture of a pig frog (well, for me — I never actually SEE them!). I’ll post this sneaky, bellowing little fellow soon!
Awesome ! Can’t wait!
The picture(s) following the two frog photographs came as a surprise, but a good one. Now if you just had a photograph rather than an illustration of the fairy ….
Hahahhh! Oh now wouldn’t that be marvelous. Well, if you could photograph some fae with your beautiful flower photographs, I’ll attend to snapping them playing in the swamp and with the resident critters…
Steve, you wanted to see a photograph of a fairy and so I was tempted to share this..FeyGirl says ok…hope the link works:
That’s some ear, isn’t it? It’s the little touches that count.
Great post! I can never get enough frogs!
Thanks so much! I’m with you on the frogs. 🙂
I think it is totally amazing how in nature creatures are endowed with such lovely flourescent, luminescent coloring whether insect wings, fireflies, sea creatures in phosphorescent bay, fish or humble frogs!! This one already looks like a prince!! Hardly seems fair we have to use body paint of some sort to glow in the dark!!
SO true! Their colors are simply magical; there’s obviously a reason for it, carefully developed over years of evolution — but I’ll enjoy it for what it is. And when I see them alight along the path of our hikes, I’ll promptly drop in the mud to get a closer look and (hopeful) shot. 🙂
Nice photos. I also LOVE the fairytale pictures in this post.
Thanks so much! I can’t resist linking some of these guys to the classic fairytale images — they seem to pop right out of the stories, themselves. ♥
Always so nice how you tie facts together with fantasy. AAAAAAAAAAAAnd the pictures – as aways – way above standard greatness..
You’re so kind!! Thanks so very much. I couldn’t resist tying these guys to the classic fairytale froggies — their colors are just magical. ♥
Another lovely frog. I haven’t seen any frogs since I was a child, sadly. I have heard them croking in a few marshy places, but I’ve not seen any.
Aren’t his colors spectacular? I was so thrilled to spy him (although I can’t take the credit, honestly, for finding him)… But you’re right! They’re usually impossible to find! HEAR them, yes…
I was so thrilled that we spotted these guys on (yet another) soggy hike… And was able to nab one before he jumped away! I love their colors…