Reentry was always predictable— compose a one-page piece entitled How I Spent My Summer Vacation.
And as the expected assignment was handed out to an audience of less-than-enthusiastic students upon their return to school each fall, part of me wondered if the intent in giving it was greater than its simply being an exercise in the retrieval of rusty writing skills. The stories that must have been told… the secrets shared… the places traveled to, or not. In truth, there was no better way for the teacher to acquaint herself with the students in her new classroom than to discover how each had chosen to spend that precious time away.
The Cool at the Pool
Not surprisingly, mine somewhat resembled an upstate New York version of Tom Sawyer, sprinkled with liberal amounts of Little Women, as the neighborhood matured and real-life replaced real children’s dreams. There were frogs and kickball, frogs and fireflies, frogs in the cool, clear Adirondack lakes and tents full of giggling Girl Scouts. There were fishing trips at dawn with my dad, days of building forts, after-dinner bike rides, nights of cartwheels on the lawn.
My time away may be from things which are different now. But I find that I still have filled it with the very same-- play, friends and family. And, yes, even now….frogs.
American bullfrog, female
American bullfrog, male
This photo is slightly fuzzy, but it shows how the size of the tympana (external eardrums, flat disk behind each eye) differ in male/female frogs. The tympanum of the male (photo left) is larger than the eye; whereas in the female (photo right) it is equal in size or smaller. This quick visual can be used with several species of frogs, including American bullfrog and northern green frog.
Relatively similar in appearance, green frogs can be distinguished from bullfrogs by the presence of a dorsolateral fold, a lengthwise ridge of skin on the back extending from the tympanum 2/3 the distance to the hind leg. In the above photo, the male is clearly a green frog. But what about the female? Frogs will readily clasp just about anything that comes into contact with them, if in the mood. I've even held hands with many frogs that don't understand that, although I love them, it wouldn't work--we're just too different.
Coming soon...more of How I Spent my Blogging Vacation... West Virginia New River Birding and Nature Festival More of Michigan Killdeer Plains OCVN Workshop, look here and here
Winning image for the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp competition!
The 2012 OWLStamp will be available for sale March 1, 2012 through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website and nature organizations across the state. Proceeds of the OWLStamp benefit wildlife conservation, research & education projects within the state of Ohio! I'm thrilled to have provided the winning image for such a wonderful program!
The Adventures of Red Canoe
Come along in Red Canoe as she explores the quiet backwater of Ohio's State Parks and the scenic streams and rivers of the Midwest. Discover the beauty hidden beyond the water's edge, quietly waiting, past access points, often only inches deep!
Grabbing every minute I can find to be outside--walking in it, sleeping in it ... breathing it in. The natural world has so much beauty to uncover.
It is my hope that by capturing my experiences with nature and by sharing the richness it adds to an ordinary life, others may discover the greatest gift waiting just outside their door.
A regularly appearing feature, "Have you seen..." takes a closer, more patient look at things usually not seen in a flattering light.Take a look!
The Sweetness of Spring
Each spring, as winter lessens its grip and days warm with the first fragrant breezes of a new season, we collect sap from our Sugar Maples and produce just enough syrup for ourselves for the coming year. The progress of this year's backyard endeavor is illustrated here.
A Bird's Life
Summer 2008, the tiny jewel of the avian world, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, nested just feet from my front door. Pictures of her nest and the changing lives within are collected in thisjournal.From life the size of a pea....