Bullfrog Offal

Top Photo: American bullfrog. It’s a well known fact that red-shouldered hawks take crawfish from our wetlands. Besides actually being observed eating the crawfish, the hawks leave the claws of the arthropods on the railings of the boardwalk when they’re done. The evidence is clear. Frogs are also on the menu. The hawks, though, don’t typically leave frog parts on the boardwalk as a record of their passing. Last week, I was confronted by a mystery while walking down the boardwalkRead more

The Week in Pictures

A quick pictorial trip back to the past week. Flowering dogwood is in bloom (above). Over the past week I began to see aquatic turtles very near the shoreline of our wetlands, peeking up from the water to the shore. I suspected they were searching for safe places to come ashore and lay eggs. The next day I saw two yellow-bellied sliders walking along the path. It’s nesting time. The tadpoles, products of the American toad breeding spree of March,Read more

All Is As It Should Be

It is now May. Insects that we haven’t seen for months are back among us. Reptiles and amphibians are active as if winter had never happened. Many birds that have been far away in Central and South America have returned to the Museum grounds to make nests and raise families. It’s as if they never left. Keep your eyes and ears open for these creatures as you walk the paths and trails here at the Museum. I’ve gathered more thanRead more

Looking Down

Sometimes, it pays to look down. There are many creatures going about their lives at ground level. So, while you’re not looking up at the trees or the skies for birds or at the flowers for butterflies and other nectaring insects, keep at least one eye down where you walk, the ground, you might see something interesting.     At first, I wasn’t quite sure what the caterpillar in the above photo was. I thought it might be one of theRead more

Quiz Answered, Finally!

The long awaited moment is here. You have all probably been wondering what those two creatures in my last post are. Or maybe, if you read the comments on that post, you figured that Anna had correctly ID’d the frog and the ode and that there was no reason for you to comment. Well, let me first congratulate Anna because yes, she did get the IDs correct!! The herp is a Green Frog and yes the ode is a BlackRead more

Good Morning Frog!

As I walked up to the Butterfly House this morning I saw Emily staring down at the ground near the outside entrance to the Lep Lab. She was looking at a little frog on the storm drain in front of the doors. “Good morning frog!” ” Morn’n Emily!” Relatives of Emily’s little friend are quite active now, out in the Wetlands. Besides the very vocal treefrogs that are calling on these hot, humid, and thunderstorm prone July days, there areRead 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

Forgs, Turtles, and a Green Snake

Green Frogs seemed more vocal this period than in previous weeks. Northern Cricket Frogs can still be heard in the Wetlands, although with less frequency. Many Bullfrog tadpoles have morphed into adults during the past few weeks, evidenced by the dozens of miniature Bullfrogs poking their little heads above the water of the Wetlands. Yellow-bellied Turtles continue to venture out of the water to lay eggs. One was seen heading home after depositing her eggs on the north side ofRead 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