The celebrated jumping frogs of Birch Lake

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“Big honkin’ frogs!” is not a phrase I’ve used many times in my life—if ever. But during our recent stay at Evergreen Lodge, Yosemite, there was one glorious moment when it was just about all that I could say.

We were on a delightful family walk from the lodge through the woods to the shore of Birch Lake when all of a sudden Tim shouted, “Look at the frog—frogs!” Given my past experience with frogs, and that there were still occasional patches of snow around Yosemite evidencing the harsh climate, I searched the shallow water at the lake’s edge for something the size of a Pink Pearl eraser.

“Where?” I asked, still more concerned with the spectacular setting of Birch Lake, which we seemed to have all to ourselves that afternoon.

That’s when the girls began screaming. And pointing. And I forgot about Pink Pearl erasers altogether as I scrambled to snap this picture just before—


We were giddy watching them swim, then float, and as we walked farther—


We realized—


We were not alone at the lake at all.

We may have sent about a dozen of these football-size amphibians kerplopping as we stepped along the shore. Still, there were more frogs. But eventually, we realized the biggest of the batch had disappeared, no doubt demonstrating Darwin’s case for longevity among these leapers. They knew when—and how—to scram.

Seeing the younger generation of smaller, but still impressive frogs, and the enormous tadpools in the ponds beside the lake, made us pause in our tracks and wonder just how old those grand-daddy frogs must be… with the stately silver ear panels that only aging in frog years can bring? And how does a frog survive those frozen snowy Yosemite winters—year after (apparently) year?

It was a fun day, and anyone staying at Evergreen Lodge should definitely take the stroll over to Birch Lake—especially with kids. During summer months, when the neighboring Camp Mather swings into action, you’ll need to apply for a day use permit for your visit, which will entitle you to use the camp’s swimming pool and lake.

If you want to take a sneak peek at the cabins of Evergreen Lodge, check out this latest Travels with Baby TV video tour. The full review of Evergreen, with every detail a parent with babies or young children might want to know about staying at the lodge (and more links for help planning your Yosemite trip), just went online in the hotel  & vacation property reviews section at TravelswithBaby.com.

Related posts:
Roadstop: Oakdale Cheese and Specialties
Best Baby Travel Moments
Scorpions, Ticks and Bears — oh, my!
Review of the Wawona Hotel, Yosemite

Safe journey,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning guidebook Travels with Baby
The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children
Visit www.TravelswithBaby.com  

Kid Friendly Travel Blog on Raveable

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