Those of us that enjoy outdoor showers never bathe alone.

My companions don’t hog the water, won’t drop the soap or leave an empty shampoo bottle. What my wall-less shower lacks in infrastructure, it makes up in greenery and good company. Wild creatures of all shapes and sizes share my outdoor oasis.

On the flowers, I find bees and other pollinators, on the Jerusalem artichokes, caterpillars; monarchs flutter among the milkweed, and catbirds congregate between the blackberries. The latest and most interesting shower buddy was a pickerel frog in the nasturtium planter.

With the super-dry conditions of late, my outdoor shower must have provided the most moisture for miles around. The pickerel frog knew that it had found pay dirt with needed food (insects all around) and fresh water keeping surrounding soil damp and pooling under the deck.

Pickerel frogs hunt in a different way than other frogs, which use their long, sticky tongue to shoot out and capture insects and other foodstuffs. Instead, they wait until an insect is close enough to gobble up with its large open mouth. This mouth is so big that these frogs can swallow prey that is the same size as their own bodies.

My shower was a good locale for food and water but will not provide everything this frog needs. Freshwater ponds or streams are needed for breeding: they are where up to 3,000 eggs will be laid by the female pickerel frog in the spring. Those young that survive through their metamorphosis into adulthood will disperse in summer far enough to find food in the surrounding fields and woodlands – and neighborhood outdoor showers.

Pickerel frogs are larger (and less famous) than the beloved pinkletinks but these frogs have their own identity and lifestyle. One of their scientific names (they have two, but that is a whole other story) is Lithobates palustris, which poetically translates to “one who haunts stones in the marsh.” They can live in both wet and dry environments, though pickerel frogs lack webbed feet that other aquatic frogs have.

Identify this species by the rectangular spots along its back and consider its likeness to another Island species. Leopard frogs have similar, but more rounded spots, though a quick peek-a-boo observation may make identification between the two difficult. Male pickerel frogs are smaller than females and have swollen thumbs. The male also has vocal sacks that allow it to call out a soft grating, snoring sound to attract a mate. Female pickerel frogs might be the only species alive that likes the sound of her mate snoring. The males even call from underwater, however at a tone that humans cannot detect.

Though this frog may not win any prizes for its song, it is notable for its toxicity. Pickerel frogs are the only poisonous native frog in the United States. They can produce toxic skin secretions that can be fatal to predators. Experienced frog hunters know not to put pickerel frogs in a bucket with other frogs, as the other species will perish. Human skin can be irritated by this toxin, so take care but know your life isn’t in danger.

This last fact should be especially noted by Cameron Diaz, whose affection for frogs led her to declare, “I’d kiss a frog even if there was no promise of a Prince Charming popping out of it.” If you do, Cameron, please don’t lick your lips.

Suzan Bellincampi is director of the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Edgartown, and author of Martha’s Vineyard: A Field Guide to Island Nature and The Nature of Martha’s Vineyard.