My mom came out to prune the Rhododendrons while I was mowing the side yard. Shortly after she started she began to signal to me frantically to come and see something. There was something in the Rhododendron she had never seen before - and neither had I, except in pictures. It was a tree frog.
I plucked the frog from its leaf and ran in the house to get my camera. What was a tree frog doing here in Pennsylvania? I had always assumed these were a tropical sort of species. But it turns out there are several tree frogs among the seventeen species of frogs native to Pennsylvania.
This particular tree frog most closely resembles the description given for Cope's Gray Tree Frog*:
Description 1 1/4-2 3/8" (3.2-6 cm). Skin rough; greenish or brownish to gray, with several large dark blotches on back. Dark-edged light spot beneath eye. Under surfaces of thighs bright yellow-orange. Large toe pads.
Certain aspects of the description do not match up exactly:
Habitat Trees and shrubs growing in or near permanent water.Hmmm. No permanent water I know of, unless the recent rains have produced some mosquito hatcheries around the property.
Nocturnal; they live high in trees and descend only at night, usually just to chorus and to breed.Well, in that case, I guess we interrupted the poor thing's sleep.
Cope's Gray Tree Frog*, almost but not quite in its natural habitat.
This picture shows the bumpy skin and the bright yellow-orange underside of the thighs, but note the absence of "several large dark blotches on back." Perhaps this is a juvenile?
Finally, a close-up view of a Cope's Gray Tree Frog's butt*. Note the red belly.
The frog soon jumped out of my hands and back into the Rhododendrons, where it can get along with its tree-froggish business. And I went back to mowing the lawn.