DYK frogs celebrate Valentine’s Day? 🐸 I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek, but Feb. 14 does fall around the same time that our own Appalachian wood frogs start coming out to mate — something they generally only do once in their three to five year lifespan.
The only North American frog found north of the Arctic Circle, these small amphibians are about three to four inches long and range from dark brown to greenish copper in color. In addition to two ridges on their backs, their eyes are covered with a black “Lone Ranger” mask. Commonly found throughout the country in forests from Alaska to Appalachia, they’re among the first species to emerge in the late winter/early spring and begin the mating seasonand the last to retire in the fall.
Besides the fact that they sound a lot like some of my old roommates, what I find especially interesting about these frogs is that they rouse from being at least partially frozen to mate. Unlike most other frogs, which hibernate by burrowing into the ground, the zombie-like Appalachian wood frogs crawl beneath leaves, where they can freeze solid without dying. Through a complex process, their bodies produce a natural antifreeze before going into hibernation that increases their glucose levels, which allows ice to form in their blood —as much as 65% of which can freeze — in a way that doesn’t damage or kill them. When temps start warming up, they thaw out and set about their business.
Speaking of which, during the breeding season, males can be heard making a cacophonously calling females with quack-like calls. Females lay up to 3,000 eggs, which hatch between nine and 30 days later. This is actually what really piqued my interest in them — much like babies + children, these little critters sure can make a big noise.
Coronavirus ○ Check out the latest COVID-19 stats for NC from the Department of Health and Human Services here. As of Tuesday afternoon, 14,671cases and 274 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County. See more Buncombe County-specific info, including waitlist numbers and vaccines distributed, here.
Cause ○ The Harrah’s Cherokee Center-Asheville is hosting a blood drive on Fri., Feb. 19 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. inside the lobby. Blood donors will receive a $20 VISA gift card + those who would like to donate convalescent plasma (with proof of COVID-19 diagnosis) will receive $100 in e-gift cards. Make an appointment to donate here. 💉
State ○ One in five individuals in North Carolina’s prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 2020, matching the national average. One in four prison staff across the state have also tested positive. Both inmates + staff are more likely to be Black, causing the outbreaks in the prison system to disproportionately harm Black people + communities. (North Carolina Health News)
Trending ○ According to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 259 stations in Asheville, gas prices have risen 2.5 cents per gallon in the past week. At an average of $2.36 per gallon Monday, gas prices are 10.5 cents higher per gallon than a month ago, but 6.8 cents lower per gallon than a year ago. ⛽ (WLOS) ○ Stephen Colbert and actors Sam Elliott + Tom Hanks gave Foggy Pine Books in Boone a shout out Sunday night after the Super Bowl. The “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” host gave the independent bookseller a free Super Bowl ad, which typically costs millions of dollars. Since the ad ran, the store has received over 1,000 orders. 📚 (Asheville Citizen-Times)
Outdoors ○ The new section of the River Arts District greenway known as the French Broad River East Bank Corridor may soon be named after Wilma Dykeman. The writer, historian, and social + environmental activist inspired Asheville’s first riverfront redevelopment project to raise awareness for environmental stewardship of the French Broad River. 🌿 (Asheville Citizen-Times)
WaterCooler ○ The UNC Asheville men’s basketball team has extended the pause on team activities through the end of the regular season. Conference play will end Feb. 24, and the first round of the Big South Tournament will begin on Feb. 27. 🏀 ○ Carolina Panthers’ insider David Newton sees a potential opportunity to trade Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans by giving up Christian McCaffrey.The trade would also include three first-round draft picks. 🏈 (247 Sports)
Beauty ○ Want luxury lashes without the hassle or high cost of extensions? Thrive Causemetics’ 5-starLiquid Lash Extensions Mascara™ gives lashes voluminous length while using nourishing ingredients that also create healthier lashes over time.Get 15% off all Thrive products here. Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
Ashleigh will instruct folks on how to prepare this hearty meal for a donation of $25, and folks will receive a coupon code to Chop Shop Butchery for local ingredients. Donations will go to support the Live United fund in support of community schools. Register for the event here.
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #AVLtoday on social media.
Wellness ○ The Healthier + Happier Series | Wed., Feb. 17 | 4-5 p.m. | Atelier Maison + Co., 121 Sweeten Creek Rd. | Free | Dr. Brian Asbill leads discussions on how to live a healthier, happier life. 😊