A 9-year-old’s discovery of a rare blue frog has brought some magic back into the life of a boy who has been housebound since schools closed several months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Max Doane holds the blue frog he found in his backyard. Rick Doane photo

Max Doane found the frog two months ago in his backyard in Cumberland. The amphibian was living among the lilies in a small pond his father, Rick Doane, created to attract wildlife. In addition to frogs, Rick Doane has spotted heron, skunks and raccoons lingering around the waterbody.

“The pond has become a magnet for frogs,” the father said Sunday evening.

Max has since named the frog, which he collects from the pond to hold occasionally. Cyan, the name he gave the frog, means a greenish-blue color.

“Max has become pretty adept at finding him,” Rick Doane said. “He loves catching the frog and holding him for a minute or two.”

Doane said he took photographs of Max holding Cyan on Sunday morning and shared them with a group of close friends.

Max – who lives with father, mother Hilary Doane, and older brother, Zach, off Tuttle Road in Cumberland – will be entering the fourth grade at the Mabel Wilson Elementary School in the fall.

Blue frogs are rare, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. In 2017, Konor Dyer of Strong, then 14, found a blue frog.

After the discovery the state said that most frogs are green because of a combination of yellow and blue pigments in their skin. Blue frogs lack the yellow pigment, which is a relatively rare occurrence, the DIF&W said. The state typically receives about one report a year of people finding a blue frog.

Green frogs are found throughout Maine and can grow to be 5 to 10 centimeters in length, weighing between 25 and 85 grams. They can be found in freshwater ponds, ditches, and feed on virtually anything that it can fit in their mouth, including insects, spiders, fish, other frogs and small snakes.

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