Wood Frogs

Wednesday, May 1, 2019,

These are two photographs of Wood Frogs. The male is in the pic above and the female is below. As you can see, the two genders look fairly different than each other. The male is darker and largely brown in color. The females tend to be lighter and often wear a rust coloration. Also, while you cannot tell in these photographs, the female is the larger of the two.

In early Spring, the males and females head for freshwater ponds and lakes. The males sing out their calls, which, believe it or not, sound rather like ducks quacking. The female finds her prince and lays her eggs. Once she has done so, the male fertilizes the egg mass and then everybody parts ways till next year. The photo below is of one of the egg masses. After the eggs hatch into tadpoles and the tadpoles morph into juvenile frogs, this new generation will also leave the pond, only to return the following year. JK

JK

Spring Peepers In Love

Tuesday, April 9, 2019,

Spring Peepers are one of the harbingers of Spring. In fact, that’s where the first part of their name comes from. The Peeper part comes from the sound that the males make to attract females. Their high pitched “Peeps!” can be heard from quite a distance. We’re talking miles here. The males, who call from the edges of ponds and lakes, create their calls by inflating and deflating vocal sacs that are beneath their throats.

Last week, while walking through one of my favorite places, I stopped off at a freshwater pond in the middle of the woods. I could hear Spring Peepers everywhere. Their calls were coming from the far side of the pond as well as my side of the water. I could hear them to my left as well as my right. I could even hear some behind me, but try as I might, I could not locate a single Spring Peeper. They were all around me but I just couldn’t find any.

I decided to sit by the edge of the pond and just wait to see what might come my way. Sometimes, that’s what Nature Photography is: just waiting and watching. And listening, of course. I did a lot of listening that day. I spent over two hours by the pond listening and looking for those tiny frogs that I just could not find. I really, really wanted to get a shot of a male with its vocal sac inflated and calling. I had absolutely no luck.

However, my patience and persistence did pay off to net me two equally interesting photos. While I was unable to find and photograph a male calling for a female, I did get lucky enough to find two different couples who had already found each other. The male, which is smaller than his counterpart, rides on the back of the female till she is ready to lay her eggs, at which point he’ll fertilize them. In the top photo only the female’s head is out of the water and in the second photo, both frogs are completely submerged. I may not have gotten the shot I was looking for, but I did manage to get some decent pics after all. JK

 

A Bullfrog Saves The Day

Monday, August 27, 2018,

This a medium sized Bullfrog that I found at Frank Melville Park in Setauket. Frank Melville was my second stop after visiting Avalon. I had spent the entire morning hauling around two cameras and a tripod. I saw plenty of birds and butterflies. I had lots and lots of photo ops, and just as many blown opportunities. Some days are like that. Heck, a lot of days are like that. Such is life as a nature photographer. Luckily, I came across this Bullfrog while searching in a spot that has been lucky for me in the past. I was looking for dragonflies but I was not disappointed to find this guy seemingly looking up directly at me. After getting this shot, I circled around and managed to get another shot from a different angle. I took 778 photographs today, and these two shots were among the last pics I took all day. They were also the only ones I liked. Thank you Mister Bullfrog. You salvaged an otherwise fruitless outing. JK

JK