Each morning I like to check our pool to see if any small creatures have accidentally and unknowingly taken a dip. I am glad to say I have saved many small, and not so small, innocents. Everything from dragonflies and butterflies, to frogs and snakes.
Once a squirrel fell through a then missing top screen and into the pool. It got itself out and dried off clinging to our screen and looking, quite literally, like a drowned rat. We kept the dogs inside until he was gone. We have even had a hawk fly into our pool screen area. It didn’t go for a swim, but was exhausting itself looking for a way out. We opened both screen doors and I seriously considered cutting open one of our screens near the small palm tree where it kept perching, but quickly decided that would not make my husband happy. After a few hours, it found its way out. Scared as it was, it was beautiful to watch up close as are most of God’s creatures, with a few exceptions.
One of those exceptions would have to be tree frogs. As you may know, we have had our fair share of tree frogs. Aside from the one that landed on me, we’ve also had to deal with them in our back pool area. I’ve been reading up on these particular unsavory creatures and the information has been interesting. It seems they are aliens and, I’m thinking, not just the illegal type.
Cuban Tree Frogs are Florida’s most invasive and original illegal alien. It seems these guys came over as hitchhikers on a boat in the 1920’s and have been eating our indigenous reptiles ever since. They are so bad that according to the UF Wildlife – Johnson Lab, we should euthanize them by putting Orajel on their backs, placing them in a sealed plastic bag, putting them in the freezer overnight and throwing them away in the morning. In fact, it is illegal and irresponsible to release them. (ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/cuban_treefrog_inFL.shtml) Who knew?
Our most recent Cuban Tree Frog adventure makes me think they are more than just illegal aliens. It makes me think they are something akin to the alien from the movie of the same name for we have had our very own Alien Encounter. Remember this?
The other day our granddaughter, Mady, came over to swim. She got into the pool and quickly got out telling me there was a tree frog right near the pool on the inside screen. Remembering that I don’t like the stickiness, I sent Cliff out to catch it. He’s braver than I am. He first tried to catch it with the pool net. When that didn’t work, he tried to catch it barehanded. The thing leaped from the screen and attached itself squarely on Cliff’s face looking very much like the above picture.
Cliff, though surprised, was calm and cool. He turned toward around to show us the alien creature stuck to his face. When it jumped off, he was smiling. If that had been me. I’d have screamed like a banshee, fallen into the pool, and probably drowned. Fortunately, Cliff is not like me. The frog jumped into the pool. Cliff chased it, grabbed it by it’s frog legs, and released it outside the pool screen and into the backyard; clearly breaking the law. In our defense, we were unaware of the Cuban tree frog law. The creature has not returned. But, if it should, we will be armed with Orajel and a ziploc bag. We don’t like harboring fugitives, though in this case, I think it’s really not that big a deal.