Photo: Moon Rhythm, Flickr Creative Commons
I found a dead frog on the ramp leading out to my carport this weekend. It's a little strange to find a cold blooded animal hanging out in the middle of January, even if it is dead, especially after two weeks when the temperatures plunged well below freezing every night earlier in the month. Of course those two weeks were followed by a week of spring. That woke the frogs back up and they've been singing for days, even Saturday when the weather was overcast and 40 something.
I think the cat had caught this on in the bog next to my pond. When I found the frog it was on its back and I wasn't even sure what it was until I flipped it over. All of the legs and most of the underside of the animal were missing, chewed away by the cat, but when I turned the thing over, the frog was so fresh that it still looked alive. Surrounding the amphibious corpse was a scattering of a wet black grainy substance that looked a lot like caviar on a smaller scale. Of course, I know what frog eggs look like, clear jelly balls surrounding tiny black dots and, later, tiny tadpoles waiting to break free. Some egg masses are actually long tubular strings of jelly punctuated by those same tiny black dots. This stuff surrounding the dead frog didn't have the jelly. It couldn't be unlaid eggs.
But then had I not known what frog eggs looked like I would have probably guessed that this was frog roe violently freed before it was time to be laid and I would have just as likely been correct. That's the irony of knowing stuff. Sometimes it makes you just as stupid as you would have been had you been entirely ignorant.