Almost Camouflaged

Sitting so still and silent at the edge of the pond.

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Nikon D5100 f/11 ISO 400 1/250 sec 55-300@300 mm – Autumn 2012

What a great place to catch your dinner – but watch out or you may be caught for dinner!

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Precarious Perch

This view gives a pretty good feel for how small these teensy amphibians are.

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Nikon D5100 f/5.6 ISO 800 1/125 s Nikkor 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

I wonder what it would feel like to just leap wildly in any direction and cling to whatever I hit? That is precisely what these tiny frogs do. They hold still until they are in imminent danger of being stepped upon, then they just leap madly, freezing where they land. Happily, I have not seen any diseased or malformed amphibians in or around our ponds 🙂

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!

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.