By Carol Masters, Becketwood Member
Walking the neighborhood in the early summer mornings brings many delights, moments to stop and admire a boulevard garden or odd arrangement of stones and shadows or, at home, the variety in our Member Gardens.
But I was more than delighted earlier this summer when I reached my own plot and saw what was perched on the garden’s lumber edging, shaded by the purple kale. Was it a green toy? A sculpture? It was motionless—I unpocketed my I-phone and crept close enough to see the tiniest tremor in its throat. Still alive, then. Pressing the video button and holding my breath, I aimed the phone/camera at the little creature. I asked it why it wasn’t moving, was it all right? Oops—a leg flicked out—careful! And he disappeared.
I showed the video to a few people, and June Peterson’s daughter identified my visitor as a Leopard Frog: Lithobates pipiens, so-called because it is spotted, like a leopard, once the most widespread frog species in North America. Since the 1960s, its population throughout the United States has declined, owing to a fungus, pesticides, and habitat and climate change. I was grateful for the rare visit.