Journeys of Dr. G at Tyler Arboretum

The sabbatical project continues, exploring all that Tyler Arboretum has to offer

The Frogs are Calling!


Frog information is available at the Tyler Arboretum visitor center!

Frog information is available at the Tyler Arboretum visitor center!

Today is the warmest day yet for 2014, with the forecast predicting a high of 80 degrees!  I headed out to Tyler Arboretum with an objective in mind – timing how long it would take me to hike on the Pink Hill Trail to the Serpentine Barren to start thinking about a fall fieldtrip there with my students.  But as I was heading out on the multi-use trail to exit the fence through door #7, I quickly became distracted by the ponds along the trail (I should clarify – distracted by the NOISES coming from the ponds along the trail!).

To hear what I was hearing, watch/listen to this short video clip (you may need to wait a few seconds for the video to begin – but it is worth the wait!).

Yes, it is that time of year, when the frogs are out at Tyler Arboretum!  I could not believe how many frogs were “singing,” making sure that everyone could hear them when walking towards and away from the ponds.  And the frogs were very easy to spot near the shallow edges of the ponds.  I wish I knew more about these amphibians, as there is quite a bit of diversity among the frogs I was able to spot.  I’ve included some images below.  Just note that as you walk towards the ponds, the frogs will see you coming and probably stop their singing – but only for a moment, before the chorus starts back up again.

As I was going through the Tyler Arboretum website, I came across 12 Months of Fun at Tyler.  If you haven’t explored this new resource, you should certainly check it out.  I was pleased to find that the resources for March included none other than Frogs!  The resource is designed for parents to explore with children, but I found it a great starting point to try to identify the frogs I spotted on my adventure at the Arboretum today.

If anyone can help me with the identifications, please leave a comment below this blog post – and thank you!


Unknown frog #1


Unknown frog #2

Unknown frog #2

Unknown frog #3

Unknown frog #3

Unknown frog #4

Unknown frog #4

And, finally, one final link to another video where I captured the frogs calling out to all Tyler visitors! (no frog images – just enjoy the sounds!)

RANDOM FACT – Just a few days ago, the state of California proposed a bill to name the red-legged frog the official state amphibian!  Read more at The Washington Post.




Author: Dr. G

Dr. Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Science, Penn State Brandywine. Learn more at

3 thoughts on “The Frogs are Calling!

  1. Hi Laura,

    Pic 1 & 4 are toads! You can tell by their bumpy skin. They also make a long trilling noise this time of year. If you are in the right spot at the right time, you will see them all hatch out! It is quite magical. The peepers were out earlier along with the wood frogs.

  2. I agree with Martha: these look like toads. They’re probably in the water because the eggs need to be laid in water. I’m going to check these pictures in our field guide to amphibians next week.

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