25. The Great Green Yawn


tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,I bet most fellow nature photographers assumed – just like I did- tree frogs to be hugely enterprising, energetic and cheerful creatures.

Skilfully hopping from blackberry to blackberry, climbing in trees like professional circus artists, swinging on stalks, as if they were climbing frames and sliding along thick blades like skilled pole dancers.

So I started my little tree frog study.
I visited them in the morning and afternoon, on rainy and sunny days.
On windy, hot and cold days.
The result of my Big Tree Frog Research was just as surprising as shocking: During the largest part of the day,tree frogs do  ….. absolutely NOTHING!

They sit…and sit and just sit a bit more.
Being cold blooded creatures, they save their energy and use the warmth of the sun to warm up.
When it’s too hot, they keep it cool to avoid overheating.

During all my visits, there was just one spontaneous moment.
After a few boring hours I noticed a little movement.
A slight vibration of the eye indicated there was something exciting about to happen!
Yes….finally my patience was being rewarded!
The frog…yawned!
Out of pure enthusiasm, I yawned with him.

Now I would certainly not argue here, that tree frogs never jump on blackberries.
They might do a little pole dancing from time to time, but most of the action will probably take place at night.
So if you are a treefrog-rookie, looking forward to wild frogparties, you might get a little disappointed.

PS. The yawn of amphibians is not actual yawning, but is said to have something to do with shedding…

tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,

Close up of a relaxing tree frog

tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,

Relaxing tree frog ‘en face’

tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,

Relaxing tree frog offset frontal

tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,

Relaxing tree frog ‘en profil’

tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,

Relaxing tree frog behing a leaf

tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,

Juvenile tree frog

tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,

Tree frog on blossom, slightly disturbed by an overly enthusiastic photographer

tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,

Even at wind-force six, tree frogs just…relax…

A Resting tree frog on a rusty leaf

A relaxing tree frog on a rusty leaf

tree frog,European tree frog,Hyla arborea,Rana arborea,

A relaxing baby tree frog

Yawning Tree frog

Le moment supreme: the Yawn of the Tree Frog!


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