Posts Tagged 'amphibians'



Bull

Lithobates catesbeianus…Frog (Lithobates catesbeianus).

And bull! too, to the repulsive display of nativism, racism, ignorance, and unparalleled mendacity at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

In Da Bronx

nybg1

Franklinia alatamahaFranklinia in bloom. What a scrumptious flower! And the bees agree. (All of today’s trees are descendants from seeds collected by William Bartram in the 1760s. The plant is unknown in the wild.) Sylvilagus floridanusOn the mammal front, Cottontail and Chipmunk and Gray Squirrel.IMG_3877In addition to the frog, a Garter Snake crossed our path, and a couple of the elusive Italian Fence Lizards were seen (more on these anon).IMG_3829See the exuvia? AsclepiasPurple Milkweed Asclepias purpurea. IMG_3838

Frog, Rock, Turtle

IMG_3716This downward-facing turtle was king of the hill.IMG_3724This frog wanted a piece of the action.IMG_3722And this was one determined frog.IMG_3723It made several attempts to…well, what, exactly? Dislodge the turtle? In theory, the right amount of force applied to the fulcrum here should have knocked off the much larger turtle. IMG_3736But the turtle’s steadying feet made for an impregnable bastion.IMG_3728Meanwhile, and this was somebody else’s storyline, a young House Sparrow landing on all the nearby rocks and the other basking turtles briefly landed here. The turtle seemed to pay no more heed to this than it did the kamikaze frog.IMG_3730A state of equilibrium? IMG_3719But wait. Another rock. Another turtle. Another frog.IMG_3720

Tadpoles

tadpolesOne of the unexpected sights during our walk along the Northumberland Coast Path was this (tidal?) pool full of what we thought were Common Toad (Bufo bufo) tadpoles. Surprising because this was brackish water at best, if not fully the brine of the nearby North Sea. Bufo bufoIt seems, though, that they can tolerate a certain amount of salt. And they are not the only amphibians to do so. I found this abstract of a journal article that provides a “review of the literature of amphibians in saline waters and present data on 144 species, in 28 families, on every continent except Antarctica. In doing so, we make the case that salt tolerance in amphibians may not be as rare as generally assumed.” IMG_3017Speaking of salt tolerance: near the tad-pools were some clumps of Glaux maritima, which seems to have more common names than you can shake a tadpole at, including, in the UK, Sea Milkwort. Found across the northern hemisphere, on coasts and high-elevation alkaline meadows.

Keep an eye or two out

IMG_2192

Tad?

IMG_1893In the Sylvan Water at Green-Wood. Tadpole…?

Newts!

Notophthalmus viridescensOne of several Eastern Newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) in the high reservoir at Black Rock Forest recently. The red-spots are telling here, identifying the animal (another common name is Red-spotted Newt) and warning predators to lay off. This is the mature, aquatic stage of the animal’s life-cycle. They can live more than a dozen years. As juveniles, a.k.a. Red Efts, they are bright orange and live on land. Wet, soggy land.Notophthalmus viridescensThe vertically flattened tail is fin-like.

It’s hard to shoot life underwater without the proper filter, even in shallow water. But I did manage to catch these two:Notophthalmus viridescensThis is a pair in amplexus, a term of amphibian art.Notophthalmus viridescensAmplexus is from the Lain for “embrace.” They fertilize externally, but this grasping and caressing by the male is something akin to human foreplay.

I had no idea some people keep these as pets. I don’t think wild animals should be taken from their environment for such uses. One pet guide recommends not handling them much because the salts and oils on human skin can be bad for them. Indeed. How about just leaving them alone?

Salmagundi

amphibAn American Toad looking for a place to burrow down for winter.spiderLe Dejeuner sur l’herbe with tiny spider.lichenA scattering of lichen on smooth granite. walnutsBig walnuts.

All seen on Old Croton Aqueduct Trail or in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where lies Washington Irving.

One Froggy Morning

frog1Green-Wood’s Valley Water, filled with tadpoles earlier in the spring, is now full of young Bull Frogs (Rana catesbeiana). At least, that’s what I think they are. The crowd including this frogpole, not yet completely transformed into an adult.frog2The lily pads spluttered as these little ones hopped, skipped, and splashed away, sometimes hitting several pads before find the shelter of the water. Most skedaddled well in advance of the camera.frog3But I managed to digitize a few of the dozens upon dozens of them.frog4The telephoto compresses space, so I’m not sure how close these two were. The mature frog would be a mouthful.

Green-Wood Harvest

Regulus satrapaGolden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa).g7g6g5Three different hickories, genus Carya. Bitternut, Mockernut, Shagbark? Rana catesbeianaBulllfrog tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana) were still to be seen swimming. A single Common Green Darner was flying. There was also a bee of some kind passing by. Dendroica palmarumPalm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum).Juglans nigraA field of Black Walnuts (Juglans nigra): these were thudderdudduding down in the wind; don’t stand under the walnut tree with anybody, not even yourself.Catharus guttatusHermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus).Diospyros virginianaCommon Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana). They smelled absolutely fantastic. But, alas, the very ripe ones were mostly squashed.Diospyros virginianaAlthough they say the fruits need a freeze before they’re palatable. Brooklyn is just beyond the traditional natural limit of this species, but Green-Wood is full of exotica. As in this sprite:woodland sprite


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