Bullfrogs and Meadowhawks

The unseasonably warm weather last week brought out more than a few bullfrogs.

A female enjoys the sun while waiting for a snack to come along (11/10/12).
This female is a bit darker than the female above. She’s sitting in the water and may be cooler than the other female, the colder, the darker (11/10/11).

I see these frogs throughout the winter so they won’t completely disappear when the temperature drops again, as it’s already doing as I write.

The warmer weather of last week also brought out the meadowhawks. Although I saw the first of the season meadowhawk on October 12, it had been a few weeks since I’d seen another.

A male Autumn Meadowhawk sits on the railing of the Wetlands Overlook 11/10/11).

The meadowhawk above was only feet from a chalk drawing of the same, rendered by Iris Gottlieb a few weeks earlier. The drawing and others around the campus are intended to direct Museum Guests to particular events or happenings around Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind, like the first of the year meadowhawk sighting, bird species that may be in the area, or other wildlife happenings here at the Museum.

Had you been standing there on the boardwalk on Saturday (11/10) looking at the drawing (below) and happened to glance up at the railing you would have seen the real dragonfly depicted on the boards at your feet.

The real and the rendered.

Just around the corner from the Wetlands Overlook, I spied two more meadowhawks. The females had finally emerged (males typically emerge first, then the females). These two were in tandem. Tandem is the position dragonflies assume just before or after mating. The male attaches himself to the female behind her head with his abdominal appendages.

Preparing to make more meadowhawks.

This species may be seen into December. Keep an eye out for them on the railings, benches, or even on the wall of the Sailboat Pond in Catch the Wind, sunny days are the best.

2 responses to Bullfrogs and Meadowhawks

  1. jennifer says:

    How can you tell it’s a female bullfrog? (Should she be called a cowfrog?)

    • Greg Dodge says:

      Can you see the circular object posterior to the eye? That’s the tympanic membrane, tympanum, or ear drum. The female’s tympanum is about the size of the eye, the male’s much larger than the eye, “all the better to hear you with….”
      The name? Well, I had assumed the name came from the frog’s large and bulky size, but, I just did a quick search and it seems the name comes from the call which, some say, sounds like a bull or cow. So, I suppose you could justifiably call the females cowfrogs. It’s OK with me!

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