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September 21, 2011 - 7:05pm

Do bullfrogs remember? Can they smile?

posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, bullfrogs.

It was three summers ago when I liberated a few dozen large tadpoles into the meadow stream pictured above. A stone's throw from where I took this photo is a narrow ditch that, when filled with water, empties into said stream. Well, on the day I'm speaking of, I saw a heron take flight from the ditch.

Because there was no water in the ditch at the time, I thought I'd investigate. Turns out there was a wee bit of water in the form of three small puddles. Several small surface boils indicated there was something living in the roiled water. Because the water was discolored, I assumed it was small fish in the puddles. The heron had been having itself a feast and judging from the tracks in the mud, so did the raccoons. We live not far from here so I went home and returned with a plastic five gallon pail.   

As I first mentioned, the puddle captives turned out to be tadpoles -- sort of. They were actually frogs with tails. And because they hadn't fully "morphed" into frogs, they were not ready to breathe on land. Thus they were confined to the small puddles and easy pickings for anything that found tadpoles tasty.   

As you can see, there is no shortage of either water or aquatic vegetation in the ditch this summer. When I first took these photos I gave no thought to that day three years ago

 

But take note of the bullfrog's position in successive photos. It had its back to me, then it seemed to turn for a sideways glance before fully turning in my direction. Maybe its me, but, I've read where it takes two to three years for bullfrogs to reach maturity.

Could this be one of the survivors of that hot summer day? And do bullfrogs remember? After all, by the time I took the last photo it did seem quite friendly...maybe even smiling a little!

Kim Grant
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Like! :)

Gabor Deutsch
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"Jeremiah was a bullfrog. He was a good friend of mine"......
:D

Susan Brownell
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Would be nice to think that it did remember you! great pictures Jim!

JIM NIGRO
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Thanks Susan - this particular bullfrog does seem quite willing to have its picture taken though!

JIM NIGRO
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Kim and Gabor - thanks.

Gabor, I had a feeling you were going to come up with that Three Dog Night ditty!

Gary Spencer
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it's not easy being green

Mardell Lamb
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LOL Gabor! "...never understood a single word he said but I helped him drink his wine..."

Cool post, Jim. He does look like he's smiling, doesn't he? Great pics & information as always!

Cheri Kolb
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Always love your writing Jim. Thanks for sharing this.

JIM NIGRO
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Mardell & Cheri, Thank you both.

Mardell, given your willingness to help turtles cross the road, I thought you would enjoy this!

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