I spotted two Yellow-bellied Turtles out of the water and hiking the paths around the Wetlands looking for a place to lay eggs. One of these large females was in the process of digging a hole for the eggs when I came upon her.
If you happen to see a tiny brown-gray creature hopping along the path in Explore the Wild or Catch the Wind, take a closer look. The offspring of the American Toads that bred in the Wetlands (and wherever else there was water at the time) back in March are no longer tadpoles, they’re now tiny toads and up on dry land where they’ll spend most of their lives. They are very small and, if not moving, can be mistaken for a pebble or tiny clump of dirt, so step with care.
It is now the time of the treefrog. Gray Treefrogs (image at left) have deposited eggs in the U-shaped pond at Flap the Wings in Catch the Wind (they develop quickly, many became miniature tadpoles within days). The adults of these frogs usually spend the daylight hours snuggled up against a branch of a tree or shrub, or inside an umbrella! Each morning during the second week of May, while opening the umbrellas at the Ornithopter, I’ve found at least one treefrog within, usually more.
I’m starting to find more Green Treefrogs as well. Tree limbs, stout grass stems, and even restroom walls all seem to suit these brightly colored frogs for places to snooze away the day (image at left of frog in restroom in Explore the Wild).