As if being tiny, slimy, blotchy, splotchy and yellow-bellied weren’t enough, the mink frog also smells like onions. Nevertheless, none of that stands in the way of this amphibian’s amore making. In late July and early August, the males squat on a lily pad or pickerel weeds far from shore and call out for females–all day and all night, with a metallic croak folks liken to a distant hammering–”Kuk! Kuk! Kuk!” If the nearly 4,000 eggs each female lays are any indication, the frog’s pillow talk works like a charm.
Night Moves: Mink frogs are timid, nocturnal creatures, not given to life in the spotlight. However, if you happen upon one of these shy Upper Peninsula dwellers after dusk, you can take advantage of its stage fright. Word is, when you shine a flashlight on one in the dark, rather than ducking for cover, it’ll freeze.
Lynda Twardowski is travel editor of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s [email protected]