Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Leopard frog is a welcome diversion

One of the chores for the Wetland Restoration Team is pulling clumps of plants from tubs and cutting the plants into fist-sized sprigs for relocation.

I plopped a soggy clump on the table and started whacking on it when a stowaway made me jump back.

It was a Leopard Frog with a body about three-inches long.  We all admired it.

The frog was surprisingly still maybe because Leopard Frogs are generally nocturnal. We checked it for injuries because I thought perhaps I had cut its leg.

However the frog seemed fine and made a hearty jump to freedom when it was taken back to the ditch.

Good camo.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A little snake takes a peak at us

We know there are critters in the prairie restoration team's stacks of pots at Sheldon Lake State Park. Ants, frogs, spiders, snakes.

I usually give the stack a little kick before I grab some empties.

A couple of weeks ago our noise persuaded a big brownish snake to leave the pots stack and head toward the brush. Some thought it was a water moccasin, but we didn't get close enough to confirm.

Today we got the attention of little Ribbonsnake. We didn't seem to scare it. The snake just watched us.

The snake let me get close enough to take this pic with my iPhone.

And then it waited for us to leave.

It's easy to skip the skippers

The grass was still dew-damp during my morning walk. However some little skippers popped up along the trail.

They are about an inch wide and hard for me to tell apart. See if I got these correct.

Fiery Skipper

Least skipper

Common Checkered Skipper

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Now this is bug-eyed

What big eyes you have. Oh, wait. Those aren't your eyes.

The Eyed Elater aka Eyed Click Beetle has spots on its back that look like large eyes.

Freddie the dog found this one. When I put my gloved hand over the Eyed Elater, it started clicking. I turned my hand over, and the beetle climbed up my glove.

When it decided to take it off, it flew over the roof of the house.

Strong flier!
Its eyes are actually located just behind the antenna.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Basking bullfrogs have an audience

Bullfrogs hanging out near the aquatics collection lab.

Bullfrogs and fat bullfrog tadpoles are making their home in the ponds at Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center.

But the bullfrogs need to watch who is watching them. In addition to humans, snakes and birds are admiring the jumpers.

This snake was swimming along the bank when frogs splashed into the water.

Hiding in the branches along the shoreline near a couple a frogs basking in the sun, a heron was in stalker mode.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Green anole's scare tactics

I think this green anole was trying to scare me away.

The males usually flare their pink dewlaps to defend their territory or in courtship. 

Since I'm not a green lizard on the prowl for a mate, I believe this guy was being hostile toward me. So I backed off and let him maintain his role as king of the fence.

Yes, Mr. Anole, I'm retreating because your cute dewlap is so intimidating.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Interrupting a shorebird party

The Black-necked Stilts voiced their objections when I walked toward a pond filled with birds feeding and preening.

Fancy legs and loud voices.

More than half of the partygoers took off when I approached.
The exodus when an uninvited guest arrived.

But the black and white birds stayed behind with a few others.

The Black-necked stilts didn't move toward me, but they yip-yapped loudly until I moved along.

The stilts should have been happy that I thinned the crowd so they would have more room.

The remaining party guests. excluding a bunch of white ibis that didn't want to mingle.