The Gray Tree Frog On The Gate


The  Gray Tree Frog topped the gate like a finial, like a gargoyle keeping away evil.  Its toes curled around the disk of metal, even the beetle within dangerously close reach didn’t seem to know the frog was there.

I opened the gate and closed it, brushed the donkeys, and never saw the frog until I picked up the brush which I had placed on the post right next to the gate a moment before.

Its camouflage is good, but not so good that I shouldn’t have seen the frog, a now obvious addition to the gate.  But then part of how camouflage works is that we’re not expecting that being or thing which is suddenly where it’s not supposed to be.

It’s our expectations as much as anything.   Isn’t that what a magician would say?   Isn’t that a big part of how they fool us?

As the day went on and the light changed, the frog moved and changed color too, better matching the metal gate.  It slid from the post to the rail, without ever seeming to move.

At afternoon feeding the frog is dressed in a gorgeous silvery sage green.  Its arms and legs are distinguished by thin lines that are created only because it alters the pattern of the frog’s skin.

Although there’s a lot of commotion going on around it, the Gray Tree Frog seems to feel safe enough to have slept on the gate all day long.  I imagine it will wake as it starts to get dark, as they often do, and join in the frog song that sends us off to sleep each night.


4 thoughts on “The Gray Tree Frog On The Gate

  1. Amazing amphibians. I think the ability to blend into the environment to such an extent is amazing.
    Perhaps I was attempting to camouflage myself during all those hours I spent up in the trees of Long Island as a child.
    If only I could have changed my color and patterns!

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