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This image reached the Final Round of judging for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 56 collection
Red-eared frog (Hylarana erythraea) resting on curled leaf of water lily. The veins of the curled leaf seem to be connected to the fore and hind legs of the frog to form an uninterrupted reticular network. Micheline came repeatedly to this pond of the Santiburi botanical garden in Koh Samui, Thailand, every day for 2 weeks, drawn by the serenity and harmony of the location. The pond was teeming with life, glowing with changing color textures, lights and shadows and shimmering reflections. She was fascinated by the most elegant postures of the red-eared frogs and how they were engaged in a subtle ballet with the unfurling of water lily leaves, playing hide and seek in the curly pads, clinging to leaf edges, straddling unfurled, young leaves and mating on flower stems. The red-eared frogs’ most unusual postures seemed to accompany the slow unfurling of young leaves into lily pads. This composition is the highlight of her observations: how the colors, textures, reflections and the veins of the unfurled leaf extending seamlessly to the toe pads and fingers of the frog all concur to reveal a secret symbiotic relationship between water lilies and red-eared frogs.