Save the Frogs Day

Today, April 29, 2017, is Save the Frogs Day.

I personally have always loved frogs. As a child, I use to watch them jump in the ponds and creeks. I would imagine their worlds. I still incorporate frogs into my stories. I imagine them interacting with fairies and other woodland creatures.

As an adult, I still think about the frogs’ life. At the same time, I consider the frogs’ environment. Throughout the years, the push for modernization comes at a price. I would hate to see the frog population continue to decrease. The disappearance of frogs is just sad.

Just floating along….

Even though I do not know the facts, I am sure the impact of the ecological system would be significant. In my area, the decrease in frogs would mean an increase in mosquitoes and other pesky insects.

Tadpole

My request? Take the time to learn about the frogs in your area. Find out how to help with your local environment. You do not need to join large groups to help the environment, plant flowers, pick up litter, small gestures by a large number of individuals will have a large impact.

Until next time…..peace

 

Vintage Photo: Man with Pet Woodchucks

As a child, my grandfather always told me, “It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round.” I never fully understood the significance of the statement until later in life. I love meeting the good-natured oddballs. Offering a unique perspective, I find their stories and journey through life extremely interesting.

This particular series of vintage photos is the perfect example.  Over the years, I have come across numerous individuals who care for injured animals. Or have befriended wild animals. For example, my uncle would sit on the bank of the old muddy, Maple River for hours. After a while, the raccoons would come right up to him to receive “treats”. He actually would allow the wild racoons eat right out of his hands. (Note: I do not advocate this…animals bite).

Little woodchucks eating.

Woodchucks are not my idea of friendly creatures. They are destructive, burrowing mammals. And, they bite. Living in a wooded area, I see woodchucks often in rock piles, under my shed and in my barn. Witnessing them fight with each other over territory, I know they can be a bit nasty. If I could talk to this gentleman, I would ask, “How did you get pet woodchucks?”

The man proudly feeding his woodchucks.

I am assuming he found the woodchucks as babies. From my understanding from old farmer’s tales, a wild animal that does not open his/her eyes will be easy to handle. (Once again: I do not advocate this…I am a strong believer that all wild animals belong in their natural surroundings).

In my opinion, the old farmer appears proud of his little friends. I would love to sit next to him for an hour and just listen to his story.

Until next time…..peace

 

Blanding’s Turtle

Wandering around the wooded, marshy area, I came across a unique turtle. From my research, I believe the turtle is a Blanding’s Turtle. I am still researching the endangered turtle. As I find more information, I will share.

Until next time….peace

Save the Frogs Day 2016

“What is there to life

if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of a whippoorwill

 or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night?”

Chief Seattle, 1854

Today, April 30, 2016, is Save the Frogs day. I love listening to the frogs. When I hear the sounds of frogs croaking loudly, I know warmer weather is being ushered in. I look forward to their beautiful sounds after each long winter. The different croaking sounds create a song over the nearby fields, ponds, and river flats that surround my house.

Frogs serve as an important role in our fragile ecosystem. In tadpole form, the growing frogs keep water areas clean from over growing algae. As the little frogs grow into adulthood, they begin eating insects as part of their diet. The consumption of insects is important in keeping the potential spread of diseases down.

For example, mosquitos have been known to transmit diseases to humans. Frogs help in keeping the mosquito population down. Without frogs, mosquitos and other insects would be out of control. An increasing population of insects would create serious pest control problems for humans.

Frogs are also known as an indicator species. When the frogs’ living environment becomes polluted, the results will be easy to view in the frogs’ offspring. The new frogs will be born with abnormalities which provide a warning to humans living in the same area. Protecting the frogs’ natural environment will, in turn, protect humans.

Honestly, I cannot imagine the world without frogs that let me know the Earth is awakening after a winter slumber.

Until next time….peace….

 

Moth-er Day

Today, March 14, 2016, is dedicated to Moths. People usually like the beauty of butterflies over moths. I find both species to be naturally beautiful. I have come across some beautiful species here in Michigan. I would like to learn more on the subject of attracting moths. I have been trying to research plants to see if certain varieties will attract moths. So, I will have to see what I can come up with as I search.

Personally, I would like to learn more on the subject of attracting moths. I have been trying to research plants to see if certain varieties will draw months to my yard. I will have to see what I can come up with as I search. Who knows maybe the new plant life will add a touch of color to parts of my yard.

I do have to say, I am glad there is an entire day dedicated to the moth’s beauty. Everyone can have a chance to admire the flying little insects. Moth’s come in all different sizes. The Cecropia Moth is the largest moth I have ever photographed. The Cecropia Moth was about as big as my hand. I mostly took side views of the multi-colored moth. I never pick up insects to take better photos. I definitely did not want to harm her. (No, I really do not have any idea if the beautiful insect was male or female.).

d

Until next time……peace

 

 

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day

Today, January 21, 2016, is Squirrel Appreciation Day. I know a lot of people do not like these rodent-like creatures. But I enjoy watching them scurry and chase each other across my yard.

At times, I think they are just out here to eat all my bird seeds and tease my dogs. But they are definitely little characters to watch.

This squirrel was on my front porch. He is actually hiding behind my wicker chair while my dog (behind the sliding door) barks.
This squirrel was on my front porch. He is actually hiding behind my wicker chair while my dog (behind the sliding door) barks.

Save the Eagles Day

Today, January 10, 2016, is Save the Eagles Day. The day is dedicated to the conservation and protection of these majestic birds. Here in Michigan (and all of North American from what I understand), the two species of Eagles are the Golden Eagle and the Bald Eagle. I have been fortunate enough to view both of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. I have only been able to photograph the Bald Eagle. But I still have time to get more photos of both birds. I actually investing in another lens just for this reason.

This beautiful Eagle was in my neighbors tree. I am so happy everyone in my neighborhood does not think anything of me standing in the road while I take pictures of animals around their property.
This beautiful Eagle was in my neighbors tree. I am so happy everyone in my neighborhood does not think anything of me standing in the road while I take pictures of animals around their property.

These large birds of prey are beautiful to view out in the wild. Catching a glimpse of one in a tree or swooping down to catch their prey is a wonderful sight to witness. A Bald Eagle can actually reach speeds of 100 mph while trying to catch their prey. I find that fact to be absolutely amazing. Not to mention the wing span can be up to seven feet wide. I guess, you can tell why I love to watch these wonderful birds down on the river flats. In fact, my neighbor informed me of a pair down on the Maple River today.

If you get a chance, you should take the time to sit and watch the Eagles in their natural surroundings. You will find the experience breathtaking.

Until next time….peace

Bees

“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them,

and he leaves them whole,

undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” –Saint Francis de Sales

In honor of “National Do Not Step on a Bee” Day, I thought I would share this photo I took earlier this afternoon. In my opinion, I think we need to become more active in bee preservation. The decline in bees will lead to harmful consequences for our food supply.

I hope everyone had a great day. It was beautiful here in Mid-Michigan. I enjoyed the sunshine.

Until next time…peace

My Batty Visitor

Here in Michigan, the Little Brown Bat or Myotis lucifugus is the most common. I am assuming this little guy is a Little Brown Bat with a very big mouth.  The Little Brown Bat is a relatively small mammal with an olive-brownish to dark yellowish brown colored coat. In Latin, the word Myotis means mouse ear which is great for these Little Brown Bats since they do look like they have little mouse ears.

You should hear a bat squeak; it's almost unnerving.
You should hear a bat squeak; it’s almost unnerving.

Even though I know they are only insect eating creatures; I am still cautious when approaching them.  I guess I have heard too many urban legends in my time. In fact, when I was photographing this one (yes, I brought  him in my house to use my backdrop; he was attached to the piece of wood), my mother stopped by. She was more than happy to remind me of all the myths and diseases the bat could carry. I took my few photos and returned the Little Brown bat still on the wood where I found him.

According to the Michigan DNR website, “Little brown bats use echolocation to find and capture prey. They emit pulses of high frequency sound (20-130 kHz) that bounce off nearby objects. The bats then use the echoes to determine the object’s distance, size, and shape. They feed primarily on aquatic insects, including mayflies, caddis flies, and stoneflies. They will also feed on other flies, wasps, moths, and beetles to supplement their diet. Typical summer foraging areas include forest edges, along streams and lakes, and sometimes in small cultivated fields. Young little brown bats can eat up to 1.8 grams of insects/night; lactating females can eat up to 3.7 grams of insects/hour due to increased energy demands” (2014).  Of course, I wish they would eat more mosquitoes in my area. I can’t even begin to tell you how bad these mosquitoes are right now. They are horrible in my area.

A batty visitor.
A batty visitor.

Source:  http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10370_12145_12205-70016–,00.html

 

Late Afternoon Fox Sighting

I was writing this afternoon. I noticed a small brown creature run across my yard to the back field. Of course, my first thought was a dog. My parents have a VERY spoiled dachshund and they live next door to me. I thought maybe she had made her way down to my house or dad was out giving her a walk. But on closer inspection, I realized the brown colored animal was a fox.

A few years ago, I photographed foxes in their natural habitat. But I have never viewed any in my immediate surroundings. I was pretty excited to see her (or him, I don’t know the difference upon first glance).  I quickly grabbed my camera and was able to take just three photos before she scurried back into the wooded area.

Wildlife has been in the area more and more over the last few years. People blame the animals. I cannot take this same point of view. We are in a farming community (Please do not take this the wrong way, I respect all the hard work farmers do. My parents did farming when I was a kid. I know the long days that were put into the fields). The problem with animals is based from the clearing of their natural habitat. Large wooded areas are being purged and burned to make room for more farm land. When this happens, animals must relocate. I believe this is the real reason why I have been able to photograph so many different species in my area.

I personally get excited be able to photograph foxes, deer, and especially the little baby bunnies.

There were actually four little ones in the rabbit hole.
There were actually four little ones in the rabbit hole.

I have been informed there are coyotes in the area. I have not had a chance to photograph one of them in the wild. So, we will see as time progresses what other forms of wildlife are going to be around. Of course, I am writing this right now as the raccoons play on my front porch. They are pesky little creatures. But I enjoy watching them interact with each other.

Until next time….peace….