October 2009
Frog of the Day
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 Frog of the Day

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OCTOBER POND
The wind is blowing, the leaves are flying, green is morphing into red and gold, the duckweed is retreating, and the frogs are disappearing.  My subjects are sinking down into the pond-bottom mud to hibernate as the pond turns to ice and snow above them.  But a few hardy ones are still showing their faces among the falling leaves and cool temperatures.

Those little faces are VERY hard to pick out among the colorful leaves sprinkled all over the pond surface.

October will be a short month for Frog of the Day because I was away from the pond the first week and because the frogs are going to be gone before Halloween (I assume).  I will use this excuse to "double up" and post some extra shots!

What date will be the LAST day I see a frog this year?
We'll see ...



IN SEARCH OF
...
  
... the last frog !
 
This is the first year I've stuck with it every day to see how late they go. In previous years I stopped looking in late September, when it gets cold and the pond surface becomes a colorful stew of fallen leaves.  I had no idea they would still be around even AFTER the nights started to dip below freezing!  That shallow, dark-bottomed pond water must be holding some heat from the sunny days.

This year I'm using binoculars to scan for the hangers-on... it has been surprising to find faces in the leaves!

See October 26 for the winner!





October 31, 2009
OAK-LEAF SOUP
A fresh fall of crispy curly oak leaves has made
face-finding quite a challenge.
Fabulous Halloween weather - warm (73F/23C)
and windy, AND a full moon!


October 30, 2009
TWO FACES
...
... in different places.  Blow it up to see where.




October 29, 2009
ALWAYS ONE MORE!
If you look hard enough, there's a turtle face
out there somewhere.  How many more days until
they're gone?




October 28, 2009
WINDING DOWN, TURNING BROWN
No faces in the water today - only the changing face
of the pond itself




October 27, 2009
NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON'T
The only faces left are turtles taking a breath
of the cool autumn air.   If it looks like a turtle
face, then disappears... it WAS a turtle face !
                       BEFORE                                                  AFTER



October 26, 2009
INTO THE SUNSET ...
I'm awarding the medal to this little loner.  I'll make
a correction if I find a later one, but the pond is
looking pretty much shut down, except for one or two
turtle noses poking up here and there.
Click on the blowup for the wide-view context of this scene.



October 25, 2009
TURTLES OF AUTUMN
Three turtles were skulking around the pond, surfacing here and there
like sneaky submarines (with camo!)



October 25, 2009
PEEWEE
The pond was frogless today even though it was
sunny and warm (60F/16C), EXCEPT for this
teeny little guy... could it be The Last Frog ?
See the blowup for size context.



October 25, 2009
ANOTHER ROAD FROG
Green frog



October 25, 2009
TOGETHERNESS
See the blowup for an explanation



October 25, 2009
RESPLENDENT WOOD FROG
Of the 3 wood frogs in the road last night, two
were of subdued dark color, but THIS one was all
dressed up... and apparently  quite well-fed!



October 24, 2009
ON THE MOVE
It was a late-season "frogs in the road" night...
raining and warm (63F/17C). Within a quarter mile
of my house, I found 11 critters risking the road:
3 green frogs, 3 wood frogs, 2 gray treefrogs,
2 unknown hoppers who escaped into the darkness
AND ... this little salamander !




October 24, 2009
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF ... DUCKS! 
Two mallards cruising around, nibbling veggies
from the pond bottom.



October 24, 2009
COOL AND RAINY
A green frog hangin' in there.
See the blowup for how I know it's a green frog.



October 22, 2009
THE NIGHT HAS EYES
Who ARE those guys?
Warm enough (63F/17C) for night frogs.
See the blowup for portraits.



October 22, 2009
SUMMER REPRISE
Shirt-sleeve weather (73F/23C)
Even the turtles were out!
3 frogs, 3 turtles in the drying-up lilypad patch.



October 21, 2009
REVEALED!
Popeye is a buxom bullfrog lady, about 4 in (10 cm).
She can be identified by that lumpy swelling over
the left eye.
Nice and warm today (65F/18C) ... ahh... a last chance
for full-body basking!



October 21, 2009
FOUR EYES
It's Popeye!  (First seen October 14, below)
Looks like that bad eye is getting better.
The bad eye is the left one, on YOUR right, here with
the protective cover pulled up about 25%.



October 20, 2009
NEON DRAGON
This big dragonfly was rustling in the leaves
on the mud "beach" by the lilypad patch.
It was very sluggish... I think it was on the way out.
Dragonflies live for only one summer  )-:



October 20, 2009
NOT DONE YET
An upcoming week of warm autumn days - Go frogs !
(60s F, 15-20 C)




October 18, 2009

SNOW!
The end of the frog season?



October 17, 2009 - Still here
JUST LOOKING ... 
Or maybe not.. watch the video




October 16, 2009 - NON-FROG EXTRA !
COMPETITION !
An uncommon visitor - a great blue heron spent the
afternoon hangin' out at my little pond.
I shoot frogs... this critter EATS 'em !




October 15, 2009
HANGIN' IN
The only face I could find.
41 degrees mid-day (41 F, 5 C)




October 14, 2009
HOW COLD CAN THEY GO ?
Three faces today... all very dark.
(Do they turn dark to absorb sunlight better?)
These two were close enough to be in the same shot.
That's Popeye at the bottom, with the half-closed left eye.  (See previous shot, below.)



October 14, 2009
POPEYE
This one was keeping the left eye closed.
The safety shade is deployed (pulled UP over the eye) and the whole eyeball is retracted down, like when swallowing something.
Hmm ... why ?    Infection, irritation, injury from a pounce crash?



October 13, 2009

LAST FROG ?
Nope, not yet.
But the only one I could find today.
It's going to be below freezing tonight !



October 12, 2009 
HARD TO FIND 
Four frogs and one turtle snout seen today.
 (55 F, 13 C, sunshine)
Bullfrog?  Green frog?  Hard to tell.



October 11, 2009
TURTLE SURPRISE
An eastern painted turtle made an appearance
today... they are most visible in the spring, when
they climb out to bask on the sun-warmed rocks



October 11
, 2009 
THE END IS NEAR ...
A slow, methodical scan with binoculars
revealed two small (and inconveniently dark) green frogs today,  mixed in with the leaves...
here's one of them.



October 10, 2009
FIND FROGGIE !
There's a big-eared male green frog in this view.
Click on the blowup eye to find him.




October 9, 2009
COOL REFLECTION
Cloudy and cool, but I saw three frogs today... had to
look VERY carefully !
Click on the blowup eye to see a surprise I found
in this shot.



October 8, 2009
BASKING IN THE AUTUMN SUNSHINE
Four bullfrogs seen today.




October 7, 2009
AMONGST THE LEAVES
Blustery and cool (58 F, 14 C) but I found
three bullfrogs hangin' in there!



October 1-6, 2009
AUTUMN ARRIVES ! 
I was away from the pond for the first week of October.
During this short absence, autumn happened !