Pickerel Frogs

By the time you read this, it will be spring, meteorological spring. Spring to me actually begins in February. The days continue to get longer, red maple and elm flowers pop, and frogs, peepers, chorus and pickerel frogs, are all calling. I know there may indeed be some cold days between now and April, but it won’t last long, a few days at most. Winter’s done. If you’ve been down into our wetlands in the last week and a halfRead more

Toads Aplenty

Back in March and April I photographed American toads mating and laying eggs in our Wetlands. On April 11, I photo’d the small, black tadpoles that hatched from the eggs swimming in the shallow water of the swamp to the west of the Main Wetlands Overlook. Again, this time on May 20, I took shots of the tadpoles as they were about to become toads. They still had their tails, but also their legs. They would soon be ready toRead more

Great Blue and Other Interesting Sightings

  Great blue heron (GBH) has been a common sight here at the Museum for the past eight years. Most of that time there was one present on a daily basis in the Wetlands. I’m afraid, though, our long time resident GBH has left us. I don’t know why our local GBH has moved on or whether or not it has expired, but I have not seen it. I keep a weekly checklist of all the birds I see here at the Museum, check it offRead more

Spring Rolls Along

Spring continues to move along and the flora and fauna here at the Museum rolls along with it. Thousands, no, millions of neotropical migrant birds are moving through our area, flowers are inviting insects to pollinate themselves, tadpoles are becoming frogs, fish eggs have hatched, and an old friend showed up in the Wetlands. Warblers, thrushes, cuckoos, swallows, and many other birds are migrating north at this time. Most migrate at night (less likely to be seen by hungry hawkRead more

Frogs Mature

If you’ve walked through the Wetlands lately you may have noticed amphibians floating on the water or perched on sticks, logs, or rocks in or next to the water. The amphibians are two inches or so from the tip of their noses to the end of their bodies. Some of them are trailing tails, vestiges of their days as tadpoles. Others have already absorbed their tails and appear as miniature adults. These amphibians are bullfrogs. They are, in fact, theRead more

Warm and Wet

The past few days have been rather warm and humid, if not rainy. That will all change soon, there’s colder air moving our way. But until that cold front rolls over us, enjoy the warmth as some of our wildlife has been. I don’t think the warmer weather matters very much to the mergansers, as long as the water doesn’t freeze and they can get at the fish and tadpoles beneath the surface, they’re happy. The mergansers above seem toRead more

Lost Dinner

As I walked down the boardwalk into Explore the Wild, I noticed nine or so mergansers fishing for bullfrog tadpoles next to the boardwalk at the point where in goes to pavement. One of the birds was violently shaking something in its bill. I thought it a tadpole and tried to capture an image of the bird swallowing the amphibian. I watched as the bird shook the object and then drop it in the water, apparently to reposition it forRead more

When Frogs and Toads become Frogs and Toads

Last week while walking along the path in Explore the Wild, I stepped off into the grass to have a closer look at the Wetlands, the water’s edge. As my foot hit the grass half a dozen tiny creatures leapt for their lives. Hmm. Looking closer I realized they were frogs, Pickerel Frogs and Spring Peepers. A day or two before, I had come across a miniature toad hopping across the path. During February, March, and into April, Spring Peepers, PickerelRead more

Party in the Wetlands Last Night

If I didn’t know any better, and I don’t, I’d say that the bullfrogs had a party in the Wetlands last night. With the temperatures in the seventies, and even eighties, this week it looks like the frogs have extended their breeding season. While most of the other dozen or so species of frogs and toads that breed in our little Wetlands have been put to bed or at least on break (I did hear spring peepers calling last week andRead more