Hidden!

How did I spot this tree frog? It was washed out of the horse water trough when I cleaned and refilled it. After taking few shots of it sitting in the hay on the ground, I decided to see if I could catch it and move it to a more natural-looking environment.

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Nikon D5100 f/10 ISO 800 1/350 s Nikkor 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

It was surprisingly easy to catch. I wondered if it was perhaps suffering from overheating, as it had been hiding in the lip of the black plastic water trough. That is not exactly a cool place to hide. In any case, it passively sat on the pine bark and allowed me to take several photos before it moved.

It is marvelous how well the tree frog blends in with the gray, rough bark. No wonder I rarely see them in their preferred settings!

Summertime Siesta

Cynthia was napping on the (former) BBQ grill. It has been re-purposed as a cat bed and cat food dish holder, very much to Cynthia’s liking.

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Nikon D5100 f/11 ISO 400 1/250 s – Summer 2012

She knew I was there and was purring softly and kneading with her paws to let me know she loves us. But she was just too sleepy to get up and greet me properly 🙂

Tiny Trills

I guess I was holding still successfully enough to allow this little guy to relax.

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Nikon D5100 f/16 ISO 800 1/180S Nikkor 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

 

I was actually watching him, and not moving, when he began his little toady rhythm section. After my first photo I moved the camera. He instantly froze, little pouch still distended but not making music any longer. It deflated ever so slowly as he held perfectly still waiting for the danger to pass. Finally he concluded that I must have just been a bush swaying in the breeze… Well, I don’t know what he thought, but he resumed his interrupted serenade.

That stick-like object in front of him is a dry grass stalk. See how much tinier his little front legs are than the dry grass?

Inflatable Amphibian?

This puffy looking little toad was just as tiny as those in my preceding posts, but it was pudgy looking.

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Nikon D5100 f/8 ISO 400 1/125s Nikkor 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

I have speculated about it.  Could it have suffered an injury, like perhaps a sting from a wasp?  Has it the ability to puff up as some sort of self-protection mechanism?  Or is it simply a different variety of toad?  It was the only one like this I spotted, but that is the case for the tiny green and mud-colored frog from an earlier post, so it is probably not a significant fact. The toad acted pretty much like all its other minuscule cousins, so if it had sustained an injury, it did not appear to be life threatening.

Pipsqueak Frog

This little pipsqueak of a frog would fit on your thumbnail!

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Nikon D5100 f/16 ISO 800 1/350s Nikkor 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

It saw me and was ready to leap away at any hint that I might try to eat it. By moving very slowly, I was able to focus the camera and get a couple of shots before it either moved or my eye just lost it. They are extremely hard to spot when they hold still!

Teeny, Tiny Toad

When I walk around the pond, many things move. Dragonflies zoom past, of course. Grasshoppers frantically hop out of the way, the cicadas cease their urgent buzz, water birds hurry away on whistling wings, and turtles silently submerge.

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Nikon D5100 f/13 ISO 800 1/180s Nikkor 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

But small things hop away across the mud, tiny quick-moving things. When they land, they immediately freeze and blend into their surroundings so well they can only be seen if you followed the motion with your eyes and did not look away.

What are they?  I sat out on a log by the pond with my camera, watching and attempting to capture images of these small hoppers. What I caught were images of an amazing variety of teeny, tiny toads and frogs! As you can see, even cropped for maximum visibility they are extremely well camouflaged.

A monster hatched out

Depending on your perspective, what hatched out of this shell is either a menace to your life – or a beautiful, glittering bit of movement, and the shell but a small, nearly invisible bit of detritus rather than a warning of grave danger.

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Nikon D5100 f/5.6 ISO 1600 1/500 s Nikkor 55-300@300 mm – Summer 2012

Something to remember; perspective is so often key to understanding 🙂