22 January, 2010

"Treefrog at Noon!"

.a tree frog watches the world go by from behind the kitchen clock"I can hardly wait..."
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2010

A popular field tip among tour guides who lead wildlife enthusiasts is the so-called “clock technique”. Probably inspired by military orientation strategies, it aims at facilitating the location of a bird or any other animal on the surroundings by creating an imaginary clock, using its hands to point out the critter. The “clock” can be used both vertically or horizontally, on a tree or in the horizon, for example.

That way, we end up getting used to expressions that sound senseless at first, like “toucan at three o’clock”, “monkey at noon”, “macaws at five thirty”. But what does this have to do with today’s story?

the clock technique using a tree
clock technique using the natural landscape
Clock technique using a tree (L) or the natural landscape (R)
Photos and artwork: © Daniel De Granville, 2008

It happens that we have a Milky Treefrog (Trachycephalus venulosus) who is a frequent visitor at our house, but now decided to lodge behind the wall clock. Almost every morning, at around 10:30 AM, it shows up and just sits on top of the kitchen clock, watching our routines and inspiring photos like this... Now, take a look at the first picture and tell me: shall I say “treefrog at noon” or “treefrog at ten to eleven”? :-)

Milky Treefrog perching on a branchThe same species, but this time in the gallery forest
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2003


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