Blanchard’s Cricket Frog, Acris crepitans blanchardi, pictured at roughly three times its actual size. Photographed by Twisty in Blanco County, May 2005.
I admit it; I Blame The Patriarchy has been egregiously light on frog content lately. This contingency reflects an unfortunate convergence of disparate and inflexible cosmic forces. For instance, the non-frog-related demands of spinster aunthood–such as the obligation to lounge on decks with pitchers of margaritas–are many. Furthermore, it cannot be said that the amphibians of Central Texas are not a fairly aloof bunch. But this morning I pried, with some effort, the Twisty kiester off the lime green recliner, saddled up the dog, and did hie to my country seat, El Rancho Deluxe. My mission: to stalk the elusive A. crepitans.
The excellent stream traversing the northern third of El Rancho Deluxe more or less throbs with these microscopic chappies–at less than an inch long, they are extremely wee–all year long. It is a pleasure to see them leaping hither and yon in such plenitude, since frogs are generally an indicator of riparian robustness, and I am totally pro-riparian.
The species is already extinct or endangered in much of the Monsanto-ized Midwest.
And what of the cricket frogâ€™s natural history? Nothing too dramatic, Iâ€™m afraid. They lounge on riverbanks impersonating stones until you come galumphing along, and then they plip into the shallows. Their lives are otherwise spent feasting on invertebrates. They disdain to stray further than a yard or two from the water. They make a noise like two marbles knocked together.
You will note that the habits and customs of this species have much in common with those of the author.