“Shoreline Leopard Frog”
“Seemingly out of place, on a wide gravel beach, the frog makes its way over the polished stones to the refreshing waters of the lake.” – Ed Lehming
On a recent trip to Ontario’s Prince Edward County, we spent some time on a quiet gravel beach. The beach was made of heavily polished limestone pieces deposited by the churning waters of Lake Ontario. These stones where all flat and smooth and extended inland some ten meters from the shore. The beach ended an an elevated shoreline of course limestone, sand, grasses, and scrubby trees.
It’s been an extremely hot and dry summer in this region, so I was surprised as a leopard frog emerged from the dry grass behind where I was sitting and began making its way to the water’s edge. It made sense that the frog would want the water, but it’s a fairly long and highly exposed route to take.
This particular frog did not seem to mind me blocking his way for a few minutes to get a photo while others on the same journey were pretty skittish. A few moments after making this image I started along the lakeshore and noticed many other frogs in the water and along the beach, also refreshing themselves. As I continued on my way, I saw a stick laying on the gravel. As I stepped towards it the ‘stick’ moved, as it turned out to be a rather large Garter Snake. This snake was not alone and there were many other snakes doing the same thing; hoping to intercept a frog on it’s way to or from the shore.
While I did not see any snakes who had successfully caught a frog, I’m sure it’s not an uncommon occurrence and there is absolutely no shelter for the frogs to escape from, they would have to rely completely on speed and stealth to survive the journey to and from the water.