Photo by: Zoe Helene © 2008

Amazonian Treefrog

“We were on our way out of Dr. Duke's Amazon EthnoBotanical Garden and on our way into primary rainforest. I had told Segundo, our delightful and talented guide, how much I love the animals. I remember him hearing this little fellow in a a wet, lush, flowering bush, and telling us there was a treefrog in there somewhere and that he was going to find it for us. I remember thinking to myself: how in the world can he hear that one treefrog with all the rest of the critters chattering away? How is that even possible? I was to learn that this was just the first of many such wildlife sightings by Segundo, who is nothing short of humbling in this regard.

Treefrogs are exceptionally cool creatures, so I kept snapping away until I caught this one shot, which is my favorite. Treefrogs remind me of my early childhood in North Carolina. We had a home in the middle of a beautiful forest, and there was a lake and creeks and such. I spent a ton of time hanging out in the woods looking for butterflies, salamanders, geckos, snakes, turtles, frogs, crawdads - anything! Tons of treefrogs came out at night when it rained, which was pure magic. They were tiny, even in our little hands, and they'd hold onto our fingers and sing. They didn't seem to fear us.

Chris remembers them as a boy spending summers in Ocean Park, Maine, where there were so many treefrogs that, when it rained, you had to be careful where you stepped because they'd come out on the road. Now there are none. Not one. In many developed area of the United States it is the same - they have simply been wiped out. This is so sad I have no words for it. Where are our priorities, that we would have developed a system of living that kills other species as wonderful as treefrogs… and seemingly not even notice? Who or what have we become?” - Zoe Helene