Frogs, toads make for memorable weekend

Two weekends ago, I arrived at the cabin early Friday evening. The air was hot from the heat of the day and the lake was almost calm.
Walking up the path from the dock, the first cloud of mosquitoes burst from the shade of the pines and birch trees.
I wasn’t quite prepared for the oncoming mosquito season. Plans for a cozy fire from the deck seemed to vanish and we retreated indoors for the evening.
About an hour before dusk, the birds seemed to stop singing, only to be replaced by the songs of amorous frogs in the neighbourhood. It was pleasant for the first hour, but by sunset I wondered if their courting music would ever end.
Upon retiring, I eventually fell asleep—only to be awakened at sunrise as the frogs burst forth into song with great gusto. And the music went on all day and well into the evening on Saturday before commencing once again early Sunday morning.
Yet I saw nary a single frog or toad that weekend.
At one time, we used to see lots of frogs and toads around the island. When the water was low, thousands of tadpoles matured in the warm waters of our beach.
But they’ve all disappeared for the last two years, and I had wondered if it was a case of global warming as researchers had plotted the demise of the amphibian.
This past weekend, however, was another story. Friday was cooler and we decided to heat the hot tub that we had added to our cabin life. It was going to be the first item on the agenda so we could all enjoy a warm tub that evening.
Uncovering the tub, we discovered it had become an aquarium for our amphibious friends. And we discovered those amorous creatures had done much to propagate their species.
The hot tub was filled with jellied frog eggs.
And as we lifted the cover off, it was as if we had caught them in the act because most jumped high and well clear of the tub into the bushes. One hung to the backside of a grill.
We had to clean the tub and scrub the walls to make it more appealing. The fire to heat the water was started, although much too late for a tub Friday night.
On Saturday, I went out and was met at 6 a.m. by two American toads, which were resting just on the edge of the Styrofoam cover. Their vibrant green coats contrasted against the yellow insulation material.
The two were tossed onto the ground.
We kept the fire in the tub all day long and into the evening. The mosquitoes had disappeared and a late night hot tub was enjoyed by all at the cabin.
Early Sunday morning, I hadn’t checked to see if any critters had found their way under the cover. The temperature in the tub climbed and I suspect that the toad or frog I found upon removing the cover had suffered from too much heat.
It was removed and placed on the ground, where it eventually revived itself to hide again.
I found lots of frogs on the weekend—and everyone else has, too. I believe that at our cabin we have both the American Toad and the Wood Frog.
They sure seem to match the colours of the ones that I found in the hot tub and on the ground.

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