Red-eyed Leaf Frogs: Selva Verde Lodge. Costa Rica’s Best Chocolate, and, Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica — The Red-eyed Leaf Frog shares top billing with the Resplendent Quetzal as the emblem of conservation and ecological awareness in Costa Rica. You need, as our guide Edwin says, “a sexy” emblem to get people excited about conservation. People love Leaf Frogs. We always go out looking for them at Selva Verde Lodge one of our first nights there. This year the pond near the dinning hall, which is maintained specifically to attract the frogs, was under repair, so they were not as abundant, or at least not as easy to see, as they have been on past visits, but we still found a few on good perches for photography. The gallery includes a male and a female from Selva Verde, showing off the typical colors. I have included two frogs with similar poses, one from the Chocolate Tour at Costa Rica’s Best Chocolate, just across the road from Selva Verde in the Sarapique Valley of the Caribbean lowlands and one from Danta Corcovado Lodge on the Osa Peninsula in the Pacific lowlands. At first I was convinced the Osa frog was a different species, but it turns out there are at least 3 distinct color variations of the one species. They are all Red-eyed Leaf Frogs. The Pacific variety is not the one you see on the conservation posters, but it is still a great frog! Sony Rx10iv at various focal lengths to frame the frogs. Program mode with multi-frame noise reduction. Taken with flashlights (not camera flash) to disturb the frogs as little as possible.
American Bullfrog: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I always have to look up the difference between the Bull and Green Frog, as we have both here, often in the same pond. This one is a Bullfrog since it lacks the dorsal ridges of the Green. I could not resist taking the photo as it sat so nicely on the bit of sand right at my feet at the edge of the pond. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Pickerel Frog, Old Falls on the Mousam River, Lyman, Maine — I went looking for a bridge to play my low whistle under (for the acoustics, just for fun), and while at Old Falls on the Mousam River, I, of course, went for a walk down the river looking for dragonflies and birds. Not may of either around, but there were little Pickerel Frogs all over the place. Beautiful little creatures, with their rich colors and interesting patterns, and great light. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
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.