For friends who were here yesterday, here's a frog! Today's frog for me is not just one thing on a list but suddenly a whole list of things that have been overlooked during the holidays, possibly because I've been so busy blogging and setting up my website Not An E Card and enjoying the freedom of not having to go anywhere particular or be anywhere particular for a couple of weeks. Holiday days seem to disappear in a blink. Perhaps it's because it's winter here in southern Tasmania and the days really ARE short at the moment. I can't imagine what it's like living in the far northern hemisphere with weeks of darkness or light. The weather and the seasons seem to affect how I feel about doing things. I seem to be on the winter go-slow; I'm in hibernation mode. Anyway, here's a frog to remind you and me that doing the least fun thing first really does allow the rest of the day to feel more relaxed and fun. There is the other argument that doing the most fun thing first can get you motivated to do the rest, but I'm not so sure that works for me. I've been an 'eat desert first' gal for a long time, and the hard stuff seems to stay on the list...
So here's to a new day, eating the frogs first, or at least thinking about it. This little fellow was snapped on my verandah one evening when I lived in warm and balmy Queensland where they are quite common. He and his mates used to congregate around the light by my front door and it was a fairly constant job cleaning up after their nightly visits. Obviously they were eating quite well, if one was to judge that by the offerings they left behind. These handsome fellows often find their way into the cisterns of toilets and even into the toilet bowls where they live on 'offerings' deposited there. Lovely thought isn't it. It can be quite disconcerting taking a seat in some of those Queensland country outhouses. It's not so easy to perform with such a closely attentive audience! They like to hang out anywhere watery and are often found in showers too. Anyone who's been caravaning or camping in the northern states will have come across them for sure. They are lovely things. Really.
Which brings me to having to comment on cane toads that are at least as prevalent as the ubiquitous green tree frogs. It seems that cane toads can bring out the best and worst in people. We used to see them a lot around our home in Queensland, and when my kids were young they enjoyed writing up a 'show standard' for cane toads. A bit like the they do for dogs, cats and poultry in the show world. Things like 'longest legs' and 'prettiest spots' and so on. People tend to shudder when you mention toads, but they are the loveliest things to handle; their skin is soft and silky to touch, and if you handle them gently and with respect they will not squirt poison at you. If you touch a frog without wetting your hand first, it is almost kind of sticky feeling, but toads are sleek and beautiful to touch, like snakes are.
Cane toads were introduced to Queensland in the 1930's to control the Cane Beetle that was a threat to the sugar industry. Like many things that are 'introduced' to habitats not normally their own, they have thrived and are now a threat to many local species. Unfortunately the bad press given to Cane Toads has given rise to awful cruelty in their disposal, and this is to be abhorred. There are programs in place to try and control the spread and the size of populations and it is best that people follow an humane process for that. I do not understand why some people, and let's hope this it is a tiny minority, see it as just to inflict horror because they see Cane Toads as a pest. I have seen young men using them to 'play golf'. Poor things wouldn't even be in Australia if it wasn't for people. Give toads a break and find out the most humane way to dispose of them if they are a problem in your area. Thanks.
I had no idea that's where this was going today, and I'll have to leave today's planned topic for another day. Hope you enjoy meeting some of these little chaps, both frogs and toads. They are part too, of the amazing web of life we inhabit. I've included links to a couple of fact sheets in case you'd like to read more about them.
*Please remember to wet your hands with water before handling frogs so that you don't damage their skin...just by the way.