American Bull Frogs, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The drainage pond at our local hospital health center is full of huge Bull Frogs, among the biggest I have ever seen, and certainly the biggest collection of big frogs that I have come across. Here we have both a male and a female. For some reason I see far fewer females than males…or perhaps it is just that I am noticing the difference more often. 🙂 I would not make a good Bull Frog. 🙁 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I went out to Day Brook Pond on what was the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area. Management of the area has apparently been reclaimed by the Nature Conservancy, who owns the land, and had a agreement with the State of Maine to mange it. All the signage has changed this spring, and they have put up new yellow gates to control vehicle access. The pond is still the same though. Rich in odonata, water snakes, turtles, birds, and frogs. This Northern Pickerel Frog was sitting quietly on the edge, only a foot or so from a mottled greenish frog that I took for a small Bull Frog, just the same size as the Pickerel. However, researching it this morning, I am thinking it might, in fact, be a Green Frog, also common in warmer waters (like the edge of Day Brook Pond) in Maine. You can just see the straight ridge behind the eye on the left side. If so, I assume I have seen hundreds of Green Frogs in Maine, and simply mis-identified them as small Bull Frogs all along. Now that I know the differences to look for, I will be looking more closely at any small green frogs I find. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I was out the other day walking in the woods of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, just down the street from us actually. When I got back to the car there was a Wood Frog Symphony going on the vernal pool next to the road. I have tried to photograph the Wood Frogs singing in the past, with mixed luck, but this time I found two largish males quite near each other who stayed on the surface as I approached the pool. They are tricky to photograph, as are any frogs, since the wet spots on their skin reflect so strongly creating highlights that are totally burned out. I did some cloning on these shots to make them look more realistic. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Highlights retouched in TouchRetouch.
I have an early pick-up for the airport here in San Jose Costa Rica for my flights home, so I will post this tonight. Another classic pose of the Red-eyed Leaf Frog from my last night at Selva Verde Lodge in the Sarapiqui river valley’s lowland rain-forest. This one makes me smile! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications, plus Multi-frame Noise Reduction. Lighted with my little light cube in the camera’s flash shoe. Processed in Polarr.
On our Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica, the Red-eyed Leaf Frogs have never failed us. We found 5 of them last night on our night walk at Selva Verde Lodge here in the Sarapique River. This is one of my best shots ever as the frog was posing nicely just below eye-level right beside the path. I am using a new flash-shoe mounted light cube that has just the right intensity (adjustable) for shots like this using the Sony Rx10iv’s Anti-motion Blur mode. It is certainly much easier then hand holding a flashlight. (No flash allowed when photographing leaf frogs 🙂 600mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr.
We spent a few hours at Dave and Dave’s Costa Rican Nature Pavilion while in the Sarapiqui region of Costa Rica. As I have said before, Dave and Dave, father and son, have created a rich habitat for wildlife and birds and an exceptional space for photography on the banks of the Sarapiqui River. They have feeders on the high bluff, at canopy level, that attract a wide variety of local species: from Toucans, through Tanagers and Honeycreepers, to hummingbirds. They also have a trail down the steep bluff to the river. It involves a lot of stairs up and down, and then, depending on water levels, a hike along the dry river bed. Sometimes the river is right at the foot of the stair, but the day we visited it was several hundred yards across river gravel and what must be an island at high water. Among the highlights of the hike down to the river are the Green and Black Poison Dart Frogs. They also have the much more common Blue-jean’s or Strawberry Poison Dart Frog, but Dave and Dave’s is an excellent place to find the Green and Black in high numbers. We found these in a brush pile near the foot of the stairs. According to Young Dave, the patterns are like fingerprints or Zebra stripes…no two are exactly alike. You can see that I have 5 different individuals here in the panel. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Anti-motion Blur mode to handle the low light and long zoom. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.
This is an early post for tomorrow. I leave in the middle of the night for 13 days (with travel) in South Africa, in Kruger National Park, where I am not certain at all I will have wifi or internet, so this may be the last post for a while, or posts may be intermittent. I promise to catch up when I get home. 🙂
The island of Bestimeno, where Tranquilo Bay Lodge is located in Bocas del Toro, Panama, has only the red/orange variety of Poison Dart Frog. Just across the bay, on Popa, they have several varieties: ranging from orange with blue legs to yellow with turquoise legs, all the same species (so far)…and even another species altogether which is black with yellow stripes. There is a Smithsonian study going on right now to determine the pattern of genetic variation in the Poison Dart frogs of Bocas del Toro. This shot was taken on our first afternoon hike at Tranquilo…using the flash on the camera.
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/60th @ ISO 200 @ f4 with on-camera flash. It was considerably dark under the canopy in the rainforest, Processed and cropped slightly in Lightroom.
There are two species of Poison Dart Frogs here in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Most are small and various shades of red, orange, and light yellow. This is the other species 🙂 It is maybe three times the size of the little ones. No two frogs have the exact same pattern of green and black. We found lots of these frogs near the bases of trees and in the litter under the low cocco trees and the tall Rainforest canopy at a shade grown cocco Plantation… Green Acres Chocolate Farm on the mainland across from Tranquilo Bay Lodge.
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program with auto flash. Processed in PhotoShop Express on my Android tablet.
Before it slips totally into memory, we return to Honduras for this Red-eyed Tree Frog, found by Elmer Escoto, our guide, on the night hike at The Lodge at Pico Bonito. The Lodge has dammed a small stream just into the rainforest to form two small ponds where the frogs breed. The tree frogs are only active a night, so you have to go out with flashlights and listen for their calls and track them down among the leaves. They don’t seem to be bothered by the lights, or by the camera flash. Once found they will pose. The trick is to get someone to hold a flashlight on them so you can focus, then let the camera flash light the frog.
Sony RX10iii at 412mm equivalent field of view. 1/60th @ f4 @ ISO 2500. Processed in Lightroom.
My friend Rich went out with the New Jersey Audubon Young Birders on Saturday morning of the Cape May Autumn Bird Festival (ZEISS, who we both work for, sponsors the Young Birders), and they found a Northern Grey Tree Frog in a tree on the back side of the trails behind the Hawk Watch platform and the Lighthouse. He pointed out the spot on Sunday morning when he and I walked the same trails. Monday I was back there for one last loop around the trails before heading for Philadelphia and my flight back to Maine, and just for fun, I checked the tree. What do you know? The frog was there, tucked deep into the V where a branch rose at a sharp angle from the main trunk. The Grey Treefrog is small by North American frog standards…this is an adult and is only a bit less than 2 inches long. I was amazed at how well camouflaged the tree frog is. It matched the grey mottled, lichen covered bark of the tree almost perfectly. If I had not known where to look, I would never have seen it. And I had to look twice at that 🙂
I suspected at least some degree of chameleon like ability (color cloaking), so I had to look up the Grey Tree Frog this morning, and indeed, the males, like this specimen, can change through a range of greys and greens to match the bark or foliage where they sit. It is not a quick change like the chameleon, but over a hour or so, the male Grey Treefrog can mimic its perch, provided it picked a perch within its color pallette, most convincingly. What do you know?
Nikon P610 macro at 105mm equivalent field of view. Since it was overcast with limited daylight, I used the flash for an exposure of 1/60th @ ISO 160 @ f5.3. Processed in Lightroom.