Saturday, October 17, 2009

Amphibian Summer

…so I start off with a few summer birds. Ho Hum.


An American Goldfinch lands on a blooming Crepe Myrtle and I take a second look, every time.


Appreciate them and the color of a Brown Thrasher’s eyes!


A regal, young female Cardinal allowed me to stand before her. Soon, she’ll avoid very well.

Backyard birds learn that you’re borderline safe, especially if you cater to them the way I do. Catering at my house stops from early June through September. Occasionally I offer safflower seeds, nuts, thistle seed, and grapes. I let the birds live on bugs and berries while I fixate on hummingbirds, snakes, lizards, tadpoles, toads, bullfrogs, dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies. Gosh, I love summer like a kid.


The hibiscus starts growing beneath the water surface in the spring and by July it has grown to over ten feet in height. Before I chopped five feet off the top, I had to tie it to the fence.


If I’m bored, I’ll lift a few pond rocks for excitement and I’m never disappointed. Five-line Skinks scatter in seconds. Actually, this one was found on the front of the house – not under a pond rock.

I know this is weird to a lot of people who know me or have never met me. Yeah, weird to lift rocks and everything else I talk about here today. It's perfectly fine. I think adults need to get smart with their children, show some initiative, and push their kids outdoors more often - away from their cell phones, computers, and televisions. These are kids who are often bored and unhealthy. Explore and walk with them. Is there child who would not be thrilled to learn about Green Tree Frogs? I'm just sayin'.


I formed an attachment to a tree frog this summer. Remember Sticky? Sticky was stuck to a red broomstick. It’s been about two weeks since I’ve seen Sticky on the back deck but I saw two baby Stickies here this week. A whole family of Stickies! Oh, damn. Is it Stickies or Stickys?

Bullfrogs. There’s something about their voices and their faces that tickle me. Oh, I laugh.


Bullfrog under cover – waiting for a grass skipper or (I hate to say it) hummingbird for dinner! They will eat ANYTHING.

There was once a very large bullfrog named Fergus. Please read about him in Paradise Lost, by Julie Zickefoose. I fell hard for that bullfrog - almost as hard as I fell for his story that Julie tells so wonderfully.


Above and behind the waterfall, back in the area shaded by Rosemary, there sits a small bullfrog, sometimes two, even today in cooler temps if the sun will ever shine again.


They sit upon a biological filter bag that floats up there in its container. See the back of its eyes?


That's Fergus.


To keep things simple, I named all the males Fergus. I think there are two of them and a female who remains unnamed.


Being the bullfrog stalker I am, I tiptoe closer... And lean forward on unsteady rock to focus through the grasses.


Fergus stares at me as I approach him, laughing all the way.


Ugh. It’s her. The Fruitcake Lady.

I love this photo

of a small bullfrog

in its eden of unlimited edibles,

all wet and cozy under the Rosemary.

Before Jack Frost.


Kerri Farley said...

FAbulous pics as is your norm Mary! LOVE LOVE LOVE all of the little froggies! And I agree - I wish I would have pushed my kids out of the house when they were little. As it is, it took me 40 years to appreciate nature - hopefully they will appreciate it long before they are 40!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you. . . I needed to laugh.

Pond is lovely and critter pictures are, as usual, fabulous.

Fruitcake lady. LOL!

Beth said...

Love this post, Mary. Thanks for sharing. Julie's story made me cry, too.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Hey fruitcake lady!
I like Sticky better.

jeanmac said...

Yikes, I didn't know they would eat hummingbirds!

Jayne said...

Love seeing life in your beautiful pond. Fergus does not know how lucky he is. :c)

Dan Huber said...

stunning photographs. I love the expressions on the thrasher and cardinal.

wonderful pond you have


Minerva said...

Oh, that Jack Frost! He scares away my pond frogs, too. But there's always a nice day in the middle of late Fall or Winter when the sun comes out and they come up on the warm rocks for a few hours. I love when that happens.
Love your frog pictures!

Q said...

"Goodbye" summer birds and "Hello" to the joys of Autumn....
Fun post...amphibians are fun have so many to play with too.
Will you paint pumkins this year?
Hugs to the girls.

jason said...

OMG! This tickled me so. Stunning photos, especially of the bullfrogs. All the males are named Fergus... Too funny!

I envy you that yard, that pond, the marvelous little world that nature comes to just so you can watch and take photos and enjoy.

sarah in the woods said...

Beautiful photography! And about picking up rocks - um - are adults not supposed to do that? It's too much fun!

Caroline said...

I would love to have a pond with frogs...but the deer would drink it dry and eat the plants and probably eat the frogs, too!

TR Ryan said...

Ahhhhh, so good to have you back!

Wendy said...

I like froggies too! Especially listening to them at night, when everything is dark and eerie or dark and calm or just dark.

Love your pics. And Stickey really looks sticky - it's those toes (or fingers or both).

Exploring rocks, ponds, birds, and creatures is fun - why give it up because you're an adult?? I don't!

RuthieJ said...

Oh, it's nice to see frogs, lizards and all that greenery yet Mare.
Shiverin' in Minnesota