No trip to the big city is ever complete without going to a museum, and our trip to NYC was no exception. The American Museum of Natural History was on our list (as it was for half of New York it turns out), primarily to see the Frogs: A Chorus of Colors exhibition, featuring over 200 frogs from 17 countries. For some frog fun, click to hear the “frog chorus” or check out the museum’s FrogCam of the exhibit here.
As usual with such an exhibit the crowds were thick around the vivariums containing the colorful poison dart frogs and less so around the larger, uglier toad-like specimens. But we bravely waited and saw them all. I took the opportunity to play with the macro settings on my digicam to capture the little hoppers. We noticed that often as I was trying to focus in on a little froggy that several people would move closer to me so they could see the image in the large LCD that’s on the back of my Casio Exilim EZ-4U camera. Seems that they could see the specimens better that way than scrunching down to peer through the Plexiglas walls of the vivariums.
I’ve been partially to frogs since I was a wee tadpole myself, having had my share of tadpole-come-frogs collections gathered in ponds in fields behind various places I lived. My crowning achievement in frogdom occurred during my family’s summer vacation in a cabin by Sayner Lake, Wisconsin. I did the usual fishing, watching raccoons raid our garbage, and endless card games with my brother and bored sister. But my strongest memory is still the huge bullfrog I caught and tried to keep as a vacation pet. Somewhere I have a photo of my nine-year-old self trying to hold the bullfrog up for all to see. As I recall, (I’m still looking but haven’t found said picture) I held the frog up with my arms straight out and his toes stretched to below my waist. I kept him for a few days then compassionately let him go to return to his bullfrog family to join in the loud chorus heard every evening on that calm, clean lake during that rare summer when my family did the traditional family vacation.
Although the American Bullfrogs in the exhibit were pitifully small in comparison to the bubba frog I caught that summer in Wisconsin, each of the other frogs were grand in their own way. And if you’re curious, here’s the names and range of the frogs shown in this post, starting with the threesome above, then noted underneath each picture for the ones below: Blue Poison Frog (Suriname); Mexican Dumpy Frog (Pacific coast of Mexico); Yellow-Banded Poison Frog (Central and South America).