Share |

Nature’s Best By Elma Chapman - Frog in the Kitchen

We moved from Howe to Middlebury a week ago. It was rather traumatic because both of us really love the house in Howe, but the time seemed right for a move into a condo. I’ll miss being close to North Twin Lake, but our new place is near the Little Elkhart River and nestled against Riverbend County Park so when we look out the living room window we see only trees. My bird feeders made the move with us and we’re adjusting. We saw deer in the back yard yesterday.

We moved a lot of things ourselves before the movers came, things they wouldn’t take like plants, open boxes, extremely fragile items. On one such run I was sitting in the passenger’s seat holding a large aloe plant that has been trying to climb out of its pot. It tried that last year, too, so I repotted it, and we sold three of its offspring at the Lions Club garage sale last May. But it thrives on neglect, which I’m good at, and is threatening to take over the house again. It spent the summer on my front porch, but when the weather forecast was for freezing temperatures a few weeks ago, I moved it inside. My husband was sure I’d be bringing in myriad bugs, but that wasn’t the case. The aloe resumed its winter position in my kitchen for about three weeks before we moved. As we drove along the road and were about five miles from the new place, I saw something gray in among the branches. It looked kind of like a small dead branch about as big around as my little finger. I shifted the plant to see how a stick got stuck in my aloe, and lo and behold, it was no stick but rather a small gray treefrog. This frog must have been living on my aloe plant in my kitchen for three weeks! Maybe that’s why there were no bugs—the frog ate them all!

The frog remained in place until we arrived in the garage. He clung to the aloe as I tried to get him out and then he leapt onto the floor of the garage. I picked him up, much to his dismay, and carried him outside. It was rainy and 54° so he should be able to find a nice winter home more suited to his normal habits before winter gets serious. I didn’t want to squeeze him, but that allowed him to crawl out of my hand and take a flying leap—right onto my raincoat. These frogs have little suction pads on their toes so that they can cling just about anywhere. I put him next to a tree—he was after all a treefrog—but he decided he was done with trees for the time being. He took another flying leap into the air and landed on some wet leaves and quickly crawled under them. I hope he likes his new home! Treefrogs can be found throughout Indiana, so I’m hoping I didn’t introduce a new species to Elkhart County, and that he will be able to find a suitable mate in Riverbend Park, and I’ll be listening for him next spring when Frogwatch resumes.

I have always loved nature, and now I see that nature must love me back. The little frog moved with me to my new home, after living—unbeknownst to me—in my kitchen for three weeks.