Hola, Hyla

Welcome the treefrogs. While I’ve heard an occasional call from both Cope’s Gray and Green Treefrogs over the past several weeks it was last week when they began to make themselves conspicuous to the average herp hunter. Two gray and a handful of green treefrogs were spotted on Thursday (3/29). Both frogs are expert at camouflage so I’m sure there were more in the area that escaped detection, if you see one or two, there’s probably many more around. AlthoughRead more

Time of the Frogs

We’re now entering the time of the year when there are more frogs in and around the Wetlands than at any other time. With the offspring of all of the frogs and toads that bred earlier in the season now becoming frogs, the numbers may be as high as they will be for the rest of the year. That’s good, because frogs make such good photographic subjects…We’ll start with a Bullfrog. As you have probably noticed, the three photos aboveRead more

Garter Snake and a Frog

Pointed out to me by Summer Camp Counselor, Meghan, outside the doorway to the Lep Lab at the Butterfly House, the little snake in the image above was a bold snake, considering it was only six or seven inches in length. Garter snakes are ovoviviparous which means that the female produces eggs but retains the eggs internally until they hatch so that live young emerge from the female. They are said to produce 7-85 young per liter. That seems likeRead more

Treefrogs Unite, Snappers Attempt to

On July 16th as Ranger Kristin and I walked through Explore the Wild, a tiny, grayish frog hopped out onto the pavement. The tiny frog was a Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis). The little frog (about 15 mm) had only recently morphed from a tadpole after having been deposited in the Wetlands as an egg, along with hundreds (maybe thousands) of others like it, a few months earlier. This was the first young treefrog of the season. A second “fresh”Read more

Late Season Herps

The first couple of weeks in October were rather cloudy and wet. Whenever the sun did show itself, the turtles of the Wetlands took advantage of it by hauling out and basking in its warm rays. Young and old alike were out on all available perches. Mostly Yellow-bellied Turtles, but even a large snapper was spotted enjoying the brief bit of sun. The last few days of September and first couple of days of October brought many young treefrogs emergingRead more

Treefrogs yes, but No Snakes

More and more young Green Treefrogs are being seen each day in the tall grass on the north side of the Wetlands. Look for them resting on the long, wide blades of grass on the Wetalnds side of the path. The grass is quite tall (3-5 feet) so you don’t have to bend down to search for them, although they are not so easy to find as they’re perfectly camouflaged for the job at hand: resting, feeding, and growing, unseenRead more

Snappers bask and Water Snake appears

Green and Gray Treefrogs continue to call from the Wetlands and other locations around the Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind loop. The brief, lamb-like calls of Narrowmouth Toads have been heard at both the Wetlands and the pond at Flap the Wings in Catch the Wind. Good luck finding one of these tiny toads; they spend most of their time hidden under leaves or logs, and even when calling during the breeding season they are difficult to locate.Read more

Egg-laying Turtles, new Toads, and Treefrog Time!

I spotted two Yellow-bellied Turtles out of the water and hiking the paths around the Wetlands looking for a place to lay eggs. One of these large females was in the process of digging a hole for the eggs when I came upon her. If you happen to see a tiny brown-gray creature hopping along the path in Explore the Wild or Catch the Wind, take a closer look. The offspring of the American Toads that bred in the WetlandsRead more

A Little Brown Snake, Calling Frogs, and Stewed Turtles

A small Brown Snake delighted a group of schoolchildren as it attempted to cross the paved path just below the Lemur House. The tiny snake, unable to gain traction on the relatively smooth macadam to propel itself forward, kept sliding sideways down the path as it wriggled along in high gear. With much effort, and a little coaxing by me, it finally made it to the side of the path and disappeared into the grass. Northern Cricket Frogs are callingRead more

Wetlands Slowly Awakens

One Painted Turtle and 2 Yellow-bellied Turtles were out basking on the 7th of February; many more joined them later in the period. I thought I heard a Gray Treefrog calling early in this period and positively heard Spring Peepers and at least one Upland Chorus Frog sing out as things heated up. At least one small Bullfrog was in the Wetlands and several Green Frogs were seen out on logs or clumps of moss during the second week ofRead more