When life gets a bit hectic, a walk through the woods can be relaxing. Especially if the phone is turned off. It was such a day when checking to see which wildflowers were beginning to sprout, bud or bloom that I stopped next to an old dead tree held off the ground by a sturdy oaktree. There really wasn’t a view to speak of, no vistas, no stream or spring, being surrounded by the woods on all sides. Nice. Quiet, except for a variety of bird calls. That’s when I casually looked to my right and came eye-to-eye with the little Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis – Hyla versicolor Complex).
It’s logical that a treefrog would be found on a tree, but I always figured it would be a live tree, so seeing it there was sort of a surprise. But then, it is also logical, since treefrogs eat insects that fly or walk, that it would be up off the ground where the chances of having an insect fly by would be greater. It was a good spot to wait for a meal.
It was a bit smaller than the other Gray Treefrogs I’ve seen, only about an inch long, perhaps it was also younger. It allowed me to photograph it from almost all angles before becoming afraid, retreating backwards into the hole just behind it.
Which brought up another thought. Since the hole existed because of a woodpecker, I wondered if woodpeckers also eat small frogs such as this. Somehow it is much more pleasant to think of a woodpecker eating an insect than a cute frog. My guess is that those woodpeckers probably do eat an occasional frog. Somebody, somewhere probably knows for sure. I’m also unsure whether it is H. chrysoscelis or H. versicolor. According to the reference books, it is almost impossible to tell unless they are checked on the genetic level. Not much help for us who wander the woods. But for most of us, it doesn’t really matter which one it is, we just enjoy their being around.