When I think about frogs in the prairie, I usually think of leopard frogs – aka “grass frogs”. It’s not unusual to see one leaping ahead of me as I walk through our Platte River Prairies, even when I’m not particularly near water. But during the last couple of years, I’ve been seeing chorus frogs quite a ways from tadpole-rearing sites as well. A couple weeks ago, I caught one in our yard (middle of town). After taking a quick trip to school with my son, she’s back in the yard somewhere. I hope she can find a nice pond by next spring…
Early last summer, I was hiking in Griffith Prairie (Prairie Plains Resource Institute) north of town and came across a chorus frog near the top of a high dry hill. The closest pond was a few hills away – a long way for a tiny frog to travel through the tall grass. I had my camera along, so I spent some time photographing the frog, which put up with me very nicely. Eventually, it jumped and got hung up – temporarily – in some grass, where it kindly stayed long enough for me to get a photo.
As far as I know, chorus frogs spend their winter nestled down under grass thatch and/or logs and probably freeze solid when the temperature drops sufficiently. I’ve had a hard time confirming this, so would love to hear from anyone who has good information.