Tag Archives: Cuban Tree Frogs

Do Frogs Come to Sunday School

8 Dec

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistI’ve had a couple of nature surprises in the past few days. Sometimes on the trail, I find things I’ve never seen before, leaves with perfectly round bumps, cocoons that look like fiber eggs, berries or plums growing on bushes.

Sunday on the playground the children came upon yet another frog.( I’ve been leery since a kid once threw a lizard on me and I had to sit there acting like it was nothing when I wanted to scream and jump and run. It’s not good for you to reign yourself in like that, it can give you bad breath.)

When the children find a creature I rush to supervise their investigations. One day they found a large green frog and were so enthralled with it that they wore it out in spite of repeated warnings to leave it alone,  The next time they found a toad, they announced it, but pretty much did leave it alone after the lecture they got last time.

But Sunday’s frog was the absolute monster frog in every way, and everyone was 1.tube slideinterested in him. He was a Cuban tree frog like the one we have in our tool shedlette and he had ensconced himself inside our tube slide, in a way that made the slide unusable. I wouldn’t get a tube slide again, I have always been afraid there would be something in it that we wouldn’t care for.

It did keep us entertains for quite some time. It was much bigger than the one at home and as ugly as all Cuban tree frogs are with their neutral color and their fat sucker-toes.


The thing was everyone needed to see it and in order to do that you had to get down, by yourself, and crane up into the tube slide. Every time someone did that someone else had to poke whatever body part that  was sticking out and yell, “Boo.” It sounded as if we were having our Halloween party right then and there.

I really wanted to see it, but I knew if they said boo while I was leaning into the slide exit I would jump and bump my poor old head that has already been bumped so many times it’s a wonder I have any sense left at all. I begged the children not to say boo. Have I told you how big he was? He was about the size of a dessert bowl.



The one on the left, maybe a bit smaller, but not much. I saw it for myself and I can hardly believe it.

Anyhow the kids didn’t poke me or say boo. They must love me a lot to do that for me. After I emerged, the boys kicked the plastic slide and hit it with sticks, even though they stopped every time I told them to stop.

The level of excitement was about the same as if someone had yelled big spider or snake.


Suddenly, from out of nowhere came this blood-curdling squeal that made all the wiggling and kicking cease immediately. We looked at each other with big eyes, our hair standing on end. The boys wanted mohawks, anyhow, now they had them. The squeal sounded like a warning or a distress cry. It came again, only not so authentic sounding this time. Tommy was at the top of the slide, it could well have been him calling down the slue. He confessed that some of it was. So I was stuck. Can frogs really squeal like that?

We do know that frogs (and many other critters) come to Sunday School. Now if you want to know whether they squeal like banshees or not, click here.


To Kill or Not to Kill

25 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Author, Poet and ArtistWhile Jay, the owner of the pest control company (a sweet, older gentleman, who has been around for a long time) was here, we asked him if he’d consider taking away the Cuban tree frog that lives in our shedlette and dispose of it for us, but he said regretfully he couldn’t. I didn’t hear the reason, he was talking to Bill then. But later he wanted to talk to me about it. He had answers but none of them would suffice.

“Throw a towel over it, catch it, and let it loose in the woods.

“Can’t do that, it’s an exotic.”

“There’s lots of woods around here.”

“It will breed and take over more territory.”

“Oh in that case it will have to be …” I wish I could recall his euphemism for killed.”


We really shouldn’t let it live. Billy, my ecologist son, and I have been discussing for years what to do with it. Another man he knows has a system for getting rid of them. We discussed taking it to him, but my grandchildren begged us not to. We wouldn’t have anyway, that’s the big problem, really, we can’t kill things.

Known to take food and territory from native flora or fauna, an exotic is a plant or animal that came from somewhere else. Sometimes they prey on the natives which further diminishes their numbers. In this case, the Cuban tree frog is helping destroy our beautiful little green frogs with the gold racing stripes live here. When we moved to Florida in 1965 the green ones were all over our porch slab. They clung to the sliding glass patio doors like suction ornaments. People had to watch their heads when they stepped out because the frogs were known to drop unexpectedly. Now we rarely see one, it’s not all the Cuban tree frog’s fault, pollution has done its worst.

Because of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), The National Wildlife Federation has three categories for plants and animals, 1. Extinct, 2. Endangered, and 3. Threatened. There is also a designation called Critical Habitat. Without the proper places to live and eat, any animal can become f threatened.

I didn’t have to explain all of that to Jay. He knew what exotic meant. He knew about ecology. He said, “I see what you mean.” I’ll be interested to find out what you’ve decided to do.

We may leave the frog out there, he’s been out there since he was a quarter of the size he is now. The thing is, he keeps waking me up with his far-carrying wee-hours croaking. If it were steady I could probably ignore it, but it’s not. It’s a continual call that gets you fully awake and then it stops long enough for you to go back to sleep. Once you do that it starts again. I do have earplugs. And I do have a conscience about plotting murder in the night, so I end telling Jay I’ve decided the Cuban can stay. I wonder how long they live. He has every kind of protection in the shedlette — plenty of bugs to eat, and perhaps a green tree frog for dessert.




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