Spring has finally arrived in Petersburgh, New York, where I live, situated at the intersection of the Vermont/Massachusetts/New York borders. The snow and ice are almost gone and the glory of the wood frog mating ritual surrounds you when you walk out of the house--an almost constant croaking that sounds like low-pitch quacks. I captured their noise in the video below: my first video-- exciting technology for this old lady of 57.
Although a solo wood frog, this is my favorite of the photos. I like how the picture shows the perfection of the small body in the wake of the wetland. They are lovely creatures.
They hold onto each other for a long time, just swimming and laying in the water. The male, on top, is fertilizing the female's eggs. Look at those legs. You couldn't buy tights like that.
When I first go out, the sound of my approach stops them. They immediately dive to hide in the leaves at the bottom of the shallow swamp. As I sit quietly, one of the frogs will pop up and he watches me. A scout. He stares straight at me. Many minutes later, he will let out a short croak, testing the waters, so to speak. Then, after several more minutes or more, he'll continue to croak. Gradually, his colleagues pop up from under the leaves where you couldn't have seen them if you tried. Some will be alone, some will be coupled.
Swimming and "loving" together. There are hundreds in our swamp.
The scout. He is checking me out.
Although 17 months of unemployment sucks, I am so lucky to have the time to enjoy these wood frogs. And now you have too.
Added per Mary Richmond's comment below:
n., pl., amplexus, or -us·es.
The copulatory embrace of frogs and toads, during which the male fertilizes the eggs that are released by the female.