Background: From time to time we rescue frogs of various sizes from our salt water swimming pool. I usually scoop them out and tip them into the bird bath on the lawn. From there they generally hop away – I hope feeling well, for we seldom see them nearby after they have spent a while of recovery in the fresh water.
Context: What is left of our lawn is covered with a carpet of dry leaves, mostly shed by the Cape Chestnut tree.
The ghost: I was crunching along these leaves when I spotted something white among them. Bending down, I could see what looked like the lifeless shape of (what I presumed) was a dried out little frog. A desiccated victim of the pool I thought – hence the ‘ghost’ of the title. I moved a leaf to get a better look. The ‘lifeless’ frog opened its eyes and hopped!
I whipped out my phone for I had spotted something else: its tiny red toes.
In two ticks it had hopped away to nestle among the leaves at the base of the Cape Chestnut tree – and then it was gone!
None of my home references showed a dramatic picture of a tiny white frog with red toes. I contacted Chad Keates (see the reference to his blog) to ask if it was a type of Reed Frog. His speedy reply was: Painted reed frog, they go white in the day. For more useful information and a host of excellent photographs, do visit his blog about these frogs at https://nextgenherpetologist.co.za/2018/04/03/painted-reed-frogs-of-southern-africa/
So, it wasn’t a ghost in my garden. Instead it turned out to be a privileged view of a special creature!