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Regular visitors will have noticed a decrease in posts to the HEMEL NATURE
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Thursday, 13 October 2011

FROG Trap!

Female Common Frog trapped in water filled planter in garden, Gadebridge, Hemel Hempstead, 13/10/11
(taken with mobile phone)

At my parents house in Betjeman Way, Gadebridge this evening, my Mum said she'd seen 2 COMMON FROGS along the path around the side of the house, one under the bins, & one in an unused planter full of rain water, so I went to have a look in the dark using the light on my mobile. There was no sign of any frogs near the bins, but sure enough there was a very pretty female frog in the water-filled plant pot, looking a little tired. She had a lovely red to orange iridescence on the upper parts, lime green on her lower sides & thighs, & a distinctive pattern of a few dark spots on her back, so I should be able to reconise her if she turns up again.

Female Common Frog trapped in water filled planter in garden, Gadebridge, Hemel Hempstead, 13/10/11
(taken with mobile phone)
Now there is a problem for the frogs that get into this planter... it fills up with natural rainwater, attracts insects, is inhabited with MOSQUITO Larvae, Snails collect on the sides, & it stays cool in the shade. Perfect for frogs you may say... well yes it is, & frogs seem to end up in there all the time, seemingly finding it irresistible, sensing it & being drawn to it from afar, then jumping in, despite not being able to see inside as the sides are 50cm high. This is part of the problem, you see, once a frog is in there it loves it, but when it wants to get out... it can't. The rim of the planter curves inwards & down meaning that when a frog tries to climb out of the sides it is stopped by the edge of the pot curving back over its head. A frog can obviously jump out of the planter, but only from the middle of the water, which only gives them a small area to jump from. This & the fact they seem to prefer to climb out means that I suspect they stay in the pot for much longer than they choose to & it takes them alot of attempts & energy to eventually get out. For this reason I decided I would take this frog out of the planter & release it back into the top of the garden, on the grass near the bushes, & not far from next-door's pond. It seemed happy to be picked up from the water in my hands, then sat in the grass very calmly, before hopping off into the foliage.
Female Common Frog released into garden, Gadebridge, Hemel Hempstead, 13/10/11
(taken with mobile phone)
Now I need to find something suitable to put in the planter for the frogs to climb out on in the future, off to rummage in the garage...

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