“Garkman” is the name the Yolngu Aboriginal people of northeast Arnhem Land given to all frog species, but most notably the totemic green tree frog (Litoria caerulea).
On a series of full-moon nights, Garman would emerge from the fence posts surrounding our research residence and perch there motionless for the entire evening – just waiting for the right feast to come her way (or so we assume).
It was a poignant moment because a colleague and myself had been recently learning about the threats to Garkman – and Aboriginal culture – region from the invasive cane toad. And seeing her there, perched in calm defiance under the full moon was stunning.
The photo inspired me to write a short article about Garkman, the cane toad and it’s relationship to Yolngu culture, as researched by Boll (2004; 2006).