Our night time frog expedition!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday was an unusually warm day - the kind of day where you just want to kick off your shoes & bury your toes into some freshly ploughed soil.  Spring is here & you could see, smell & hear it with every ounce of your body.  Outside was the only place to be & we even braved short sleeves (well the boys did - I am not quite that brave, but I only had one layer on ).  Monday night continued in much this way - the temperature was beautiful, tempting you to leave the windows open even knowing that it would mean you must layer on every quilt you own to stay warm!
Even the chickens seemed slow in going to bed, so it was after the children were snuggled down  that Dave went out to close up their cage.  He quickly called me outside- even in my jammies it felt warm.  But that wasn't why he's summoned me - somewhere, from deep in Churchill forest a noise was coming.  This noise could only be described as a deep gurgling as if a huge pipe was letting out air bubbles.  Since Churchill Forest is lacking in pipes, we thought we'd investigate.  
Don't you just love that we are all in our pj's!

We grabbed Zai & Ellie (who were still not asleep) & told them to put some boots on & come on with us!  We told Snowy to guard the house & twins who were soundly sleeping (Snowy being tied up had no option in this) and set off to find this unusual noise.  The sound seemed to be emitted from black dam & we headed in that basic direction, weaving here & there through the bush as we went.  As we got closer, the sounds of the crickets seemed to escalate in volume until it felt as if it would pierce your very ears.  Finally we were at Black Dam & sure enough the noise was coming from right there.  With our lone torch (torches seem to go missing in this house :)  )  we finally found the source of one of the noises - it was from a little yellow dot along the edge of the "island" in the dam.  We then heard it again - but this time from the bank nearby. I began to wade in the water (in my boots) to get a closer look.  It was a big bullfrog & the "golump"was so deep it seemed to echo over the whole dam area.  As I got closer this one disappeared into the depth of the black dam (which lets face it is very black at night time).  Suddenly I saw some rushes moving.  I plucked up my courage & wadded across to them to see what was causing this.  As the water began to overflow into my boots, I finally got a good look at it:

A huge frog, but as the awe at this amazing piece of creation  faded, I noticed that there attached to his back was a leech (see if you can spot it).  
Now I'm a country girl - it's true, but I sure was a city girl for longer & although most creepy crawlies don't freak me out, leeches do!  I ran as fast as I could out of there - there may have been some screaming involved and maybe some wild movements with water splashing everywhere as I threw my boots off just as quickly as I could.  Thankfully I had either been lucky enough not to encounter any, or scared them off with my half - wild gypsy dance!!

As we looked further around the dam, we found more & more frogs.  There were many males with the bright yellow under-bodies making the most of the beautiful night to woo the much uglier females.  We even found one female who had 2 males singing to her.

After a lot of fun, we headed for home.  Zai commented " Mum, this is after 7:30pm school"!
We've tried to find out what kind of frogs these are - I'm thinking they look a little like the Sphagnum Frog (although the underbelly is much brighter than the one in the picture)
Do you have any ideas?

Hope you have a wonderful week!


Peta G said...

lol at your gypsy dance..I think I would have been doing more of a wild crazy woman dace if I was in water with leeches..lol..
hope you have a great week..Peta

The Happy Sparrow said...

I love the frog pictures:)) Wow!! They are amazing! Thankyou for your lovely comments - its nice to be back in the blogging world :))
I have been receiving Sels emails - her time in Paris sounded amazing! I can't wait to catch up in October too - will be so lovely to see you again!
Have a great night
:) Martine

Smilie girl said...

What a cool looking frog! I haven't come across one quite like it in my travels, so I can't help you out there. Great explorers that you are, I don't blame you for running from leeches. They suck. Bad pun intended.

Bobbie-Jo said...

That is the best story I've read in a long time. You are the coolest parents - what an adventure for your kids. They may not remember many school lessons, but they WILL remember this!

aunty sel said...

Hey Narn,
That looks like heaps of fun (except for the leeches)!!
I am enjoying my time learning on the other side of the world. Today I learnt history and language and ancient books.

Ana Degenaar said...

That looks so fun! I would go on an expedition like that even though frogs and I are not AMIGOS!

Heather said...

In the last pic, that frog is actually CUTE! I typically think they're icky, but he looks like he's smiling and it's adorable. My kids would LOVE to go on a frog hunt, except they would want to catch one and keep it as a pet.

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

WOW!!! They are BIG!
I am unsure what they are but I kniow my kids would've been impressed! Great Pics

Frizzy and Bird said...

I couldn't find the leech for the life of me. AM I BLIND?

What a wonderful learning experience!

Grandma said...

Hello Narn, what lovely frogs and what a fun excursion. Only one disappointment - nobody got a picture of you doing your wild-woman dance ;-( I'm not too fussed on leeches either - ask Janita about them, she got one when we were down bushwalking at Springbrook NP late last year...her foot bled, and bled and bled. I'm sure Zai would have thought he needed some time off school, since he had night school (lol).
Give everybody a big hug - I love the noise of frogs, they're very cute to look at. Sorry for not calling lately - been working lots. Will try and call on Friday arvo. Lots and lots of love to you all
Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Heather at Blessed Little Nest said...

that frog is crazy!! i can't believe how big he is.

Sara said...

How much fun! Whew, wish we had frogs around here.

Delighted to meet you today. I hope you don't mind if I splash around to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing spot to slip off my shoes and dip my toes.


Regan Family Farm said...

Congratulations on winning the book from Pioneer Beauty! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

WoW! My boys and myself are sitting here this morning looking at those big ole frogs and are amazed..Ok you guys look like a very fun family!
Where do you live?
Thanks for stopping by......

Robin just a family

Cassandra-ann said...

Eeww Leeches!!!
I love your pics though. We only get teeny tiny frogs around here.

Cassandra xx

Blog Widget by LinkWithin