Friday, September 29, 2006

Herpetofauna Heaven

The owners of our current housesit are mad keen on water features (and rocks, which they brought in every last one of from her brother's farm). There's a creek with a dam that is currently weed-choked to a swampy consistency. There's this lovely little zen pool-on-a-rock under the camellia bush (and did you know that cattle love to eat camellia leaves and also avocado and nikau leaves, even if there is plenty of grass about?). But best of all is the pond next to the patio which apparently was once home to golden carp but is now home to.... drum roll please ... frogs! Ok, so maybe that doesn't sound so exciting to you, but me and Al, we're excited.

So far we've spotted three frogs and heard some lovely croaking (so we know they are not native because all NZ native frogs are silent). One big green one that we are pretty sure is a female Southern Bell Frog (introduced from Australia) or perhaps a Green and Golden Bell Frog (also from Australia). I think perhaps the two little dark ones may be older males because the females are bigger but they get darker when they are older. There's this handy frog identification guide but we haven't been able to get a good enough look at them to use it. They are very shy frogs with no interest in posing for identification purposes nor for portraits. I could have posted one of a number of photographs of the pond, and used photoshop to draw an arrow at a few pixels that Al swears is a frog, but honestly, you wouldn't thank me. As compensation I offer this most excellent of links to finish. Click here for some croaking.

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