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Frogs of Ballyyahoo

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Common frog peeping out through stones - illustrating a children’s nature story with information about frogsFrogs are everywhere in Ireland and Ballyyahoo is no different.

They like to live under rocks and stones, or under tree stumps and branches.

Paddy Plant, who at 96 is one of Ballyyahoo’s oldest residents, likes to stay warm, so he always keeps a large heap of turf in his shed.

Sometimes he finds frogs hiding out in and under the turf.

AMAZING FROGS

Frogs are special little creatures. They can darken their skin to blend in with surroundings – like soldiers wearing camouflage.

They have four fingers, five toes and webbed feet.

They have big bulging eyes which help them look out for danger.

Herons, rats and hedgehogs are dangerous to frogs as they eat them – if they can.

If you have ever heard a frog croak you will know that the croaking sound is amazing.

Some of them can also jump nearly twenty times their own length.

AMPHIBIANS

They are amphibians which means they can survive in water and on land.

Besides Paddy Plant’s turf pile, there are plenty of places in Ballyyahoo for them to live safely.

Common frog illustrating a children’s nature story with information about frogsWHERE DO FROGS LIVE?

Frogs can live anywhere where there is a source of water and a good hiding place.

In Ballyyahoo they can be found in the little ponds and streams which run through the Witchy Woods.

They also live in the gardens of Ballyyahoo where they like to hide in long hay or piles of leaves and under logs.

Some Ballyyahooians have made little ponds in the corners of their gardens so that the frogs can have a peaceful place to live in safety.

WHAT DO FROGS EAT?

Frogs like to eat insects, slugs and worms and they have a long sticky tongue which flicks out to catch food.

They don’t drink water like we do – they absorb it through their skin

SLEEPY FROGS

In the winter they like to hibernate – which is a bit like going asleep only for a long time – from winter to spring.

They wake up in spring to breed. When the females find a safe sheltered pond they can lay over 2000 eggs.

The eggs look like floating jelly. This is called frog spawn.

It takes up to 21 days for this spawn to change into tadpoles and from April and May these tadpoles turn into little frogs.

METAMORPHOSIS

The name for this transformation is metamorphosis – quite magic when you think about it.

In the winter they hide out under tree stumps in turf stacks, or under rock piles.

knotty stump and wood pile Common frog peeping out through stones - illustrating a children’s nature story with information about frogsFROGS AND WITCHES

Some people say that witches, like the Witch of Ballyyahoo, make use of frogs and toads to make nasty potions and evil spells.

However, this is just a story and remember – not every story is true! It is certainly not true about the crime-fighting Witch of Ballyyahoo.

KEEPING FROGS SAFE

If you would like to keep frogs safe in your garden find a sheltered corner and build a pile of old logs, wood, branches, leaves and sticks.

You could use a small pond shell, or make a small pond from a basin and let this fill with rain water.

DON’T BREAK THE LAW

However, it is illegal in Ireland to take frogs from the wild.

If Sergeant Sid of the Ballyyahoo police caught you doing that you wouldn’t have any sweets or treats for months!

If you want to have frogs in your garden you just have to be patient and wait for them to come and if you make them a special little home in a quiet corner – they will!

In the meantime you could visit your local parks or woodlands and enjoy watching them there.

DON’T HURT FROGS

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are very harmful to frogs and and cause a great deal of suffering as well as kill them.

Ballyyahooians love frogs so they never use chemicals in their gardens.

Remember – if you are going looking for frogs in your park or woodlands – leave them where they are and just enjoy looking at them.

green grass with Common frog peeping out through stones - illustrating a children’s nature story with information about frogs

 

 

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