When we think of frogs we tend to think of warm summer nights and the sound of their croaking song. The Sierra Nevada Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog however prefers the cooler glaciated ponds and elevations above 6000 feet. This high mountain hopper makes it home in wet meadows and pine forests from Southern Plumas County to Southern Tulare County.
Eggs are laid just after the ice clears in clusters of 200-300. They remain in the larvae stage through their first and sometimes their second winter. Adults and tadpoles also spend the winter underwater so require ponds and lakes deep enough not to freeze solid. Warmer days find our froggie friends dining on beetles, ants, bees and wasps. Open shore lines sloping to shallows a few inches deep is the favorite hangout of the croaking chorus. The tadpoles also use the shallows as a place to gather heat. Singing and swimming in the shallows seems and excellent way to spend a summer afternoon to me.
Sierra Nevada Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs are considered endangered so please never try to capture or handle these special mountain neighbors. Snap a photo if you can and feel free to share it with us at mountainvalleyliving.com
photo courtesy of www.werc.usgs.gov