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September 2013



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Live and learn--a cricket frog!

We've been really busy lately, so I get in my nature observations where I can.  We attended a meeting of Joseph's submarine vets, and I still had room on the page, so fitted in this tiny frog I found on the limestone rocks by the creek.  MUCH larger than life, in my drawing.

At first I thought he was a spring peeper (Hyla crucifer) but since he was SO warty I thought perhaps a tree toad.  Looked too shiny, though...and had those striped legs.  Later, I compared my sketch and photos to those I found on the 'net, and discovered he's a Blanchard's cricket frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi), common in Missouri but almost endangered in some other places...

They may be only 5/8" long, but can be bigger...up to 1 1/2"--and can even have orange or red markings.  This one had bright spring green.

The Internet's amazing, isn't it?  I looked in a couple of my field guides and wouldn't have identified him from the pictures there--cricket can be so varied in color, and I was looking for that screaming green.

He's ink and watercolor pencil, with just a touch of gouache on those shiny little warts.

(Also posted in the group Sketching in Nature blog.)


i remember coming home late from work one evening several years back, and appreciating the warm, dark atmosphere. i couldn't figure out which bird i kept hearing overhead, so i went inside to get a flashlight. when i shined it waaaaay up the side of the house, there was a teeny, bright green tree frog, with sucker toes, and red markings that were bright enough to be seen in the glow of the flashlight.

i've heard them since, but never had the pleasure of seeing such a display, again. so cheeky, so cute, so noisy!!

what a funny bird the frog are...
When he stand he sit almost;
When he hop he fly almost.

He ain't got no sense hardly;
He ain't got no tail hardly either.
When he sit, he sit on what he ain't got almost.
How COOL!! I'd love to see a bright green one...

Heh...love the poem!
my mom used to recite it for me. i can't make it leave my head when i see a frog.
What a hoot! I've got memories like that, too...
That frog looks terrific! He really stands out on the page.
Thanks, girl!