Few animals are as iconic of spring as the spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer, a tiny semi-arboreal chorus frog found all over the eastern US and Canada. Even though we may be in the depths of winter right now, just the sound of these guys peeping away gives me warm feelings. Their latin name is such because of the bold X mark across their backs. They eat mostly small insects and invertebrates, and are good climbers, with adhesive toe pads on their digits. If you want to see (or hear, more likely) peepers, you can usually easily find them in or around wetlands or vernal pools in the spring.
Hey everyone, just a quick heads up: today’s page will be delayed until this evening. I got the inking done last night but then passed out, so once I get home, get situated and color, I will post. Thanks for your patience.
This week’s AotW is the wood frog, (Lithobates sylvaticus). Wood frogs are smallish, tan or brown frogs with a darker eye mask that live from the northeast United States, across Canada and even up into Alaska. Usually they prefer woodland areas, but can also often be found in people’s yards after a rain. They are tough, extremely cold tolerant frogs that I’ve often seen out and about in late winter, hopping over snow banks to get to the very first vernal pools. If you want to see wood frogs, the best way is to go out on a rainy late April night to a forested area with ephemeral or “vernal” pools. They, like some other amphibians, rely on these snow melt ponds to breed, as there are no predatory fish.
I know that you are all used to me babbling on and on about reptiles and amphibians, but lately I’ve been completely obsessing over cephalopods, that is, the family of animals that include octopuses, squids and cuttlefish. This isn’t especially new for me; I kept a few octopuses in high school and college and I’ve always found them fascinating. Here look at this, especially the part at 1:46, where it tries to blend in to a checkerboard:
The new year is nearly here, and with 2015 starting up, I wanted to create a new feature. Once a week I’m going to post a short spotlight article about an amphibian! I’ll mostly be talking about animals I’ve photographed, so a lot of them will be native to the northeast U.S. but if there’s one you want to see and can provide original photos (which I will gladly credit you for), please contact me! ↓ Read the rest of this entry…