April 2016: Leapin’ Lizards!

April 2016: 

Leapin’ Lizards!


It's not that easy being green;

Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.

When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold-

or something much more colorful like that.

… as sung by Kermit the Frog



The composition of a healthy ecosystem can include a mélange of plant life, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and a vast array of insects. Identifying and understanding the importance of each of these living components is an critical first step to a greater comprehension of the system. At this time of the year, the elusive spring peepera type of frog found in the Arboretum’s East Woods, makes its presence known not by sight, but by sound! This frog’s haunting call heralds spring for many. Visit the Sterling Morton Library to learn more about our regional reptiles and amphibians which are critical to our ecosystems.

If the spring peepers seem elusive, the frog sculptures that are part of the Arboretum’s current exhibit Ribbit! The Exhibit aren’t! Visit the Arboretum to see this new exhibit.



“Amphibians and reptiles probably evoke more unwarranted fear and loathing than any other group of organisms. This may be the result of the mistaken notions that all are wet and slimy and that many are dangerous to humans. So much mythology has developed around amphibians and reptiles, especially snakes, that it is not easy to separate fact from fancy.”

From Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Illinois


Library resources

Cyrus, Kurt. Tadpole Rex, 2008. 

DeGraaff, Robert M. The book of the toad, 1991. 

Elliott, Lang. The frogs and toads of North America, 2009. 

Everything you need to know about frogs and other slippery creatures, 2011. 

Grahame, Kenneth. The wind in the willows, 2012.

Gray, Kes. Frog on a log? 2015.

Grimm, Wilhelm. The frog prince, or, Iron Henry, 2013. 

Guiberson, Brenda Z. Frog song, 2013.

Halliday, Tim. The book of frogs, 2015.

Leviton, Alan E. Reptiles and amphibians of North America, 1971.

Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad storybook treasury, 2014.

Michels, Tilde. At the frog pond, 1989. 

Phillips, Christopher A. Field guide to amphibians and reptiles of Illinois, 1999.

Turner, Pamela S. The frog scientist, 2009.

Van Horn, Gavin. City creatures, 2015.

Wechsler, Doug. Frog heaven, 2006. 


At the Arboretum:

Ribbit! The Exhibit

Discover 19 whimsical displays of five- to seven-foot-tall metal frogs behaving like humans.

April 8 through September 25.


Ribbit Hop-penings

 During the exhibit, the Arboretum will host several special events and programs.