Mailbox Frogs 2010

Story Musings
First Mailbox Frog of the Year — and More!   (from 2010 — moving posts from old website 😉Image
This morning I found a tree frog in my mailbox, the first of this summer.  I’ve been told that they seek someplace dark and enclosed as the sun is coming up, a place to safely hide.  Of course, they don’t realize how hot a brick enclosed metal mailbox can get at mid-day, so with wet hands I carry them to a tree.  Now that there’s a tree in the front yard, it’s easy to relocate the little guys, though it’s a bit harder to resist their cuteness.  I have to remind myself that they are tree frogs, not house pets. (Thanks to Conservation agents for explaining that).  This sweet little frog stayed put long enough for me to get my camera and snap a few photos. Frog and Friends CD tells of Prince, who spent the winter.   “Mailbox Frogs” — from October 2009 Missouri Conservationist (whose agents gave advice on frog care) I love the photo of the tree frog on the cover of the August issue! The contrast between the bright green back and the dark front of the frog is quite striking. I have many of these little singers by my house, lovely to hear each night. They are starting to show up in my mailbox, I’m not sure how. I take them in my wet hands and introduce them to a suitable tree, reminding them that they are tree frogs, not “mailbox frogs.”Image — Mary Garrett, St. Peters 7/24/10 Tiniest mailbox frog, as big as my baby finger nail. 8/3  Took a lovely mailbox frog to a tree this morning (It got to 100 degrees today, not good weather to be in that metal/brick oven), and then taught aqua-aerobics at the Y. Tiny frog (size of middle finger nail) has been showing up on screen door to deck August 2, 4, 6. Mailbox Frogs 2010 5/20, 6/15, 6/19, 21, & 28 (came back twice, stubborn frogs) 7/8, 7/24, 8/4, 8/5, 8/9 (biggest) 8/10, 8/14 (twice) 8/21, 8/30 (smallest), 8/31 — TWO!  9/1, 9/2 — looked like Prince! 8/14 Going out for the paper this morning, I caught a cricket just inside my front door and took him out to the grass.  Checked the mailbox, and there was today’s Eastern Gray Tree Frog.  This one was very dark brown, not as green as the others, but green underneath.  Settled him in the maple tree where he blended well with the bark.  It’s going to be in the high 90’s today, not a good day to spend in a brick-enclosed metal mailbox. — Went out to get mail — another frog in the mailbox!  This one was quicker and sneakier, and I finally left him there, hiding in a corner I couldn’t reach.  Maybe it’s a new species, a true mailbox frog. This one kept hopping beyond my grasp, and found a hiding space I couldn’t reach.  I decided that if he’s that lively, he’s probably okay with the temp.  I’ll go check on him a bit later to see how he’s doing.  If nothing else, opening the door should cool it a bit. — I just went out to check, and he was much more amenable to being caught.  The mailbox was warmer from the sun, so I suspect my hand felt cool to him (frog felt warm, and I know that’s not right).  I’ll bet the tree branch felt really good to him. Someone explained to me that they seek dark, small, safe places, and that most of those, in nature, would be relatively cool . . . . Lizards and frogs would both eat any insects, so that’s good. . . (Shelby Smith Mary, you are my new hero!) I heard from a woman who finds frogs in her bedroom every summer morning and takes them all outside.  She’s MY hero!  Really, they are so darned cute that it’s hard to give them back, but the Conservation agents assure me it’s for the best. (Laura Broader Gorton Or someone keeps mailing you frogs! ) Didn’t see a stamp . . . Last summer I did wonder if someone, perhaps on the Tom Johnson crew, might have been putting them in, but I think they really can slip through the little opening by the hinge. 8/31 TWO! mailbox frogs today! One tiny one was there first, and since it was staying below 90 d., I let him stay a while but checked on him. He was joined by a larger one, and I got some photos, but none as cute as I would have gotten on first view, both looking out at me.  By the time I got the camera, they were fleeing to the back of the mailbox. I went out at dusk to put them on a tree, and the little one was gone (hope he hopped safely away).  I got the larger one on my hand and took him toward a tree, but he hopped!! — over my shoulder and onto my back!  It was hard to be sure if he’d taken the opportunity to continue hopping to the grass or the tree (pretty lightweight frogs) and I didn’t want a reputation, so I went inside to take off my shirt and check for hitchhiking frogs.  I think he’s outside where the Conservation Department wants him to be. . . . I’ll admit, I don’t see the appeal, but I’ve been told they want small, dark places to spend the day . . . On very hot days, I evict them in the morning when I get the paper.  Lately, it’s been cooler and they seem to like the warmth. 9/1)  I just took a tiny frog to the tree at 5:00.  He may be the little one from yesterday.  If they go way to the back and don’t look out, they disappear in the dark.  He was so cute on the tree . . . looked like a tiny branch . . . 9/2 I may have to think about an auxiliary mailbox* . . . The mailbox frog this morning looks just like Prince.  I let him choose to go back in the mailbox, since temp. is staying in the 80’s (F) today.  Then I saw a cricket in the living room and instead of letting it go outside, I put it in the mailbox — it did NOT choose to stay in the mailbox, jumped right out, past me in a flash and GONE.  Smart cricket! (*Mabel Kaplan Hi Mary, Your story reminded me of a delightful picture book by Jackie French and illustrated by Dee Huxley: Hairy Charlie and the Frog. It tells how a frog took over Charlie’s letterbox and no amount of coaxing would get frog into an identical letterbox labelled ‘Frog House’. So Charlie wrote a note to the postman to put his mail in the ‘Frog House’ as a frog was living in his letterbox). More literary frogs  http://comics.com/spot_the_frog/
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