Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Anphibians


The flower photo above is just because I like it, the flowers/plants are cow vetch (the purple) and sheep sorrel, the reddish spikes.

Amphibians are animals that while they may live on land have to return to the water to lay eggs, and their young go through a stage where they have to live in water.  Today I am focusing on two groups of amphibians: Toads and Frogs. Some Frogs live on land all the time and others prefer to live in the water. Toads are pretty much land based once the emerge from the water. Massachusetts has Two Toads, five True Frogs and Two Tree Frog species.  So far I have managed to photograph one type of Toad, four of the five True Frogs and none of the Tree Frogs in the wild



The above photo made in April 2015 at Borderland State Park shows a toad in the water with an inflated throat for a Toad call. I chanced to be there on the day that the American Toads were breeding. The sounds attracted my attention first, then I noticed the activities in the water. The toads were hopping about, making toad noises, and swimming around, occasionally there would be some activity in the water that had things stirred up, toads piling on top of each other. Well really the males were piling on top a female who was laying eggs, but I couldn't see that in detail. Unfortunately they were a bit too far away for me to really document the event.  There were hundreds of toads, or at least it seemed like there were that many, I had certainly never seen so many in one place before or since. 


The above photo was made this year in May in Massasoit State Park and shows tadpoles in the water. I don't know what kind, maybe bullfrogs which I know live in the lakes at Massasoit.  Anyway tadpoles are the intermediate stage for amphibians, they have to live in the water and develop (slowly) into adults.


The above photo is of a very young very small American Toad, made at Borderland in Aug. of 2015, please realize that this little toad was about the size of my thumbnail (3/4 inch) which is why the quality of the photo isn't very good.


Above is an adult American Toad, photographed this May at Massasoit State Park. I have been seeing a lot of toads there this year, 4 yesterday which is what sparked this blog post.

Now for some frog photos:


Pickerel Frog, this one was photographed this spring at Massasoit State Park, these frogs in my experience tend to wander away from water, though they aren't strictly terrestrial. 


Bull Frog, also photographed at Massasoit State Park this spring. These guys prefer to live in the water at the edges of ponds. 


Green Frog, and yes that is its name not just its color. This one was photographed at Houghton's Pond in the Blue Hills Reservation, September of 2012. These frogs also prefer to stay close to water, though in heavy rain they made head for the woods.





Wood Frogs, the top one photographed in a vernal pool this spring at Borderland State Park. The 2nd was photographed at Fowl Meadow part of the Blue Hills Reservation, Summer 2016. These frogs as their name indicates live in the woods.

Some day I hope to photograph the frog I am so far missing, the Leopard Frog. I doubt I will ever see a tree frog, they mostly live up in the trees which I don't climb. Oh yes you can relax now, most likely the next update will be flowers, no promises, but in the meantime comments are welcome.