Once upon a time, not so long ago when I was just a little girl, a frog hid itself in the depth of my school shoe. I didn’t know that the creature was hiding in there and come morning when I was preparing to go to school, I unsuspectingly placed my foot into the shoe only to feel that it felt as if there was something soft and squishy stuffed inside. Thinking that my kid sister must have stuffed tissue papers inside again, I dug in to throw the offending object out only to find a frog pitifully looking and croaking back at me. I was so shocked and was so disgusted with my unexpected finding that I dropped the poor frog down. The frog jumped around in the house, creating chaos in the usually mundane morning.
Needless to say, I was terribly traumatized. What more I encountered a snake slithering at home on the same day later after the morning encounter with the frog. It was both on the same day and I have never been a fan of slimy creatures since. I don’t care if my kid sister thinks that they are cute and adorable, but I hate reptilians and I hate amphibians. To me they are just a slimy and a disgusting creature. Loathing these creatures, I avoid them like a plague and I would never go near them if I could help it.
Unfortunately for me, as a member of the media, my assignments sometimes involves those slimy and slithering little guys. I was sent to the zoo once back in 2010 for an event with Brady Barr and I practically cried in front of everyone just because I was so terrified of the harmless Albino Python they were showcasing.
I never bothered to attempt to overcome my fear towards frogs and snakes, but there was a herping session during my most recent trip to Resorts World Genting with Treks Enterprise. Herping is a term used for searching for amphibians and reptiles at night. READ: Frogs, snakes and lizards are involved. Herping is definitely not for the faint hearted and definitely not for me, but I decided to try to overcome my fear and try it regardless. I thought, if my son is not afraid and is eager for it, then why should I? I’m his mother. I’m supposed to be the brave one and a heroine he can look up to.
Our herping session was led by Steven Wong, the President of The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). Our location; The vicinity of Awana Longhouse, Resorts World Genting. With his expertise, he shared interesting knowledge about nature and wildlife with us, particularly lizards, snakes and frogs and thanks to his lengthy explanation about those creatures I so fear of, they don’t seems to be so scary anymore. After listening to his stories about frogs and snakes, I felt that they are just misunderstood and not dangerous unless they are provoked.
It was a successful herping session.
We managed to catch a glimpse of a few kinds of frogs.
Tiny frog spotted
Another tiny frog sitting on leaves
I wonder if this one will turn into a prince if someone kissed him?
Steven shared with us something interesting about frogs which is their mating process. When Frogs mate, the male frog tends to clasp the female underneath in an embrace called amplexus. The male frog literally climbs on her back, reaches his arms around her “waist”, either just in front of the hind legs, just behind the front legs, or even around the head. The amplexus embrace can last several days. According to Steven, while in the amplexus position, the male frog fertilizes the eggs as they get are laid. Frogs tend to lay eggs single eggs in masses, whereas toads usually lay eggs in long chains. Some frogs leave after this point, but others stick around to watch over the little ones. Some have very unusual ways of caring for their young. Rather romantic, don’t you think? I’m a sucker for romantic things like this.
That night we also managed to get a close encounter with a Siamese Viper.
One for the album.
My phobia of snakes and frogs may not be cured in just one night. I think I am still afraid of them. I might need more herping therapy before I feel like touching them willingly, but it’s a start, no?
If you are looking for some slimy adventure, you might want to consider herping. Treks Enterprise is offering all sort of guided walks and eco-related programmes and herping is just one of them.