Tuesday, October 11, 2011
This past weekend I tried a long shot of a trip, and I came back with a photo of a pickerel frog (Rana palustris). Pickerel frogs were all over the place, hopping into the little streams through the wet woods and some of the deeper water in the marsh. Coming away with a photo of a pickerel frog was kind of like flipping a redback salamander (Plethodon cinereus) or a birder coming home with a photo of a robin.
I had gone out in the same sort of spirit that took me up a mountain in the fog. Sure it's fun to find what you're looking for in perfect conditions, but it's a special triumph to find what you're looking for in bad conditions. Of course the down side of a low-probability/high reward strategy is that most of the time you strike out. In particular this was a trip to see if I might find spring species in the fall - similar weather, of course, but I found even less than I expected.
The lack of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) was just plain eerie. They're a constant in the spring and summer here, slipping into the water as you approach, popping their little heads up to watch you in this particular stretch of water.