I found this little tree frog hiding underneath the umbrella of our patio table when I opened it up yesterday for a little shade. These are a common occurrence around our house, and I squeal in delight every time I see one. I’m not certain if this is a Gray Tree Frog or Cope’s Gray Tree Frog or even one of the other species here in Tennessee; but if I had to venture a guess, it would be Cope’s Gray Tree Frog due to its call. He was certainly a beautiful little creature and very friendly.
I’m backtracking a bit to July 22nd and one of my absolute, all-time favorite finds. This is a male Eastern Hercules Beetle, species Dynastes tityus, commonly known as a Rhinoceros Beetle or Unicorn Beetle. The most obvious difference between the male and the female is that males have the two pincer-like horns whereas females do not.
I had to laugh when this one made its way up to the nail because it seemed to get stuck there. Then again, I could have blinded the poor thing with the flash from my camera. I really hate using a flash to photograph wildlife for that reason; but the long exposure photos just weren’t turning out all that great, not to mention he was squirming around making it difficult to get a nice still shot. Case in point, this 2 second exposure (below) has a nice dramatic feel; but the detail leaves a lot to be desired.
Within the first few weeks of us moving here, I began seeing these regularly. Prior to seeing this live beetle climbing the light-pole on July 22nd, I found a dead one at the base of another light-pole that was perfectly intact, minus its right tarsus. I kept it because… well… they’re just cool and I totally geek out over bugs. Unfortunately, we didn’t have internet yet at that time; and I didn’t know how to properly preserve it for mounting.
I pulled it back out today to photograph a ventral view (above) and noticed that it’s not faring all that well. Next time I find one, I’ll know because today I’ve found a plethora of information online for mounting beetles and butterflies. I’m not going to kill them in order to do this, though. I simply don’t have the heart to do that.
And last but not least, I happened to notice this pickerel frog while photographing the Eastern Hercules Beetle. This photo was a happy accident, far better than I expected as I was shooting blind. It was the only one I took because I scooted the frog on its way so I wouldn’t accidentally step on it. It seemed thoroughly grateful to get away. They can jump quite high!
For more details and information about the Eastern Hercules Beetle visit:
Side note: by now I should seriously know better than to go outdoors and not take my camera because I had the funniest encounter with a small butterfly this afternoon. First, it enthusiastically climbed onto my finger and appeared to be licking it. After a few moments of this, it flew away. A couple of minutes later, it fluttered all around me and landed on my nose! I broke out into a fit of giggles thoroughly enjoying this rare opportunity to be so up close and personal with the friendliest of butterflies. Have I said lately how much I LOVE the new home? 😉
My neighbor found this frog today while working in the yard. He knows how much I adore them, so he came right over to get me. I believe it is a green frog due to the dorsolateral folds which are present in frogs, not toads. Someone, please, correct me if I am wrong. We get these a lot around our house. I think they might be living in the septic tank. Yeah, I know, eww! Their eyes are what get me though, those big beautiful eyes.
An interesting tidbit of information is that the Tympanum or ear circle can be helpful in identifying the sex of a frog. If it is the same size as the eye, it is female. If it is larger than the eye, it is male. There are other things to consider in determining the sex, also, like mature males have yellow throats. Well, I think it’s interesting; but I’m a little biased as I have an obsession with frogs and toads. Haha!
After I took a few photos, we took her over to a pile of leaves so that she would, hopefully, find her way back to where she needed to be. The poor little thing was ice cold and lethargic which makes me think she had already started the hibernation process. I do hope she gets somewhere safe to overwinter.
To read more about Green Frogs, Rana clamitans melanota, visit: http://www.uri.edu/cels/nrs/paton/LH_green_frog.html
I went for one of my long walks around Cane Creek Lake this afternoon. While walking near the water, I wandered into a whole nest of little frogs on the shoreline. This one was about the same size as my thumbnail, but there were much smaller ones hopping about. At first, I didn’t notice them because they were so small. The ground looked like it was moving, though; so I took a closer look. They were everywhere! My next thought was, “Oh, no, did I step on any of them?” Needless to say, I stepped very carefully back to the paved path.