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Palm Coast Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 3 years ago

Palm Coast wildlife adventures in the backyard: Frogs are cute, until they're dead

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Follow your nose. You will find them.
by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor

When you have four children, a foul smell can come from any number of sources: Diapers are a good bet. Secret stashes of food. Expertly hidden — and then forgotten — Easter eggs.

But we couldn’t figure this one out. It smelled sort of bitter, but there was something familiar about it, too.

“I’ve got it!” I said one night. “It smells like rotten potatoes.”

Willing to believe anything, my wife, Hailey, rushed to the pantry to check the bag of potatoes, but, sadly, they looked and smelled just fine.

Willing to believe anything, my wife, Hailey, rushed to the pantry to check the bag of potatoes, but, sadly, they looked and smelled just fine.

I emptied the garbage. Hailey scrubbed the garbage disposal. And still, the stench grew worse.

By now, you might have guessed what was wrong, but I was still naïve. Until the next morning before anyone else was awake, when I started sniffing around the house like a dog, following my nose into the dining room — sniff, sniff — past the dinner table — sniff, sniff — and right up against the sliding glass door.

Then I opened the door and discovered a brown blob on top of one of the glass doors. Sniff, sniff — yep, this is the jackpot.

Like many Palm Coast homes, ours is a magnet for frogs at certain times of the year, and this was evidence: a dead frog perched neatly above the glass where no one thinks to look.

Shouldn’t be a problem, though. I’ll just get a pencil and flick it out and toss it in the woods, and that will be that.

Unfortunately, this frog wasn’t so far gone. It hadn’t hardened yet into a flick-able hockey puck. I reached the pencil into the space above the door and inadvertently  punctured the skin. Rather than a neat cleaning job, I was stuck with a pouch of black goo and stringy remains, which I removed bit by bit using half a roll of paper towels.

By this time, my son Grant was awake, and he became my audience, eating cold cereal while I shuddered repeatedly trying to get rid of this former frog.

I finally finished and sprayed some cleaner into the cranny. I took out the trash again and washed my hands. I had done it. I thought, “My wife will be so pleased when she comes in and finds that the smell is gone.”

Or not.

As it turns out, the smell didn’t improve — because that wasn’t the only frog. Later that night, I removed the glass door and found a second frog, this one even bigger but in the same black-and-gooey state.

No need to worry, though. Everything is now clean, and we are back to our normal smells of diapers and secret food stashes. And next time frogs camp out above our door, I’ll know better than to think it’s cute.

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