Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hot tubbing Frogs and other Oddities

With cooler weather and increased aches and pains from half marathon training runs, I decided to start up my hot tub after the long summer hiatus.  Surprise, surprise!  When I went to uncover the tub, I found three of these fellows staring back at me....
It hurt me to displace them, especially when I saw the frog eggs swimming in the shallow rain water at the bottom of the tub.  But, soon they were hopping out of the tub--at about 2 feet with each hop.  It is amazing how they can move.  I have to say, they found the only wet spot within 100 miles I bet!

This hot dry summer has been hard on wildlife, but it has provide me with many new nature experiences.  Besides the hot tubbing frogs, I sat next to a pond yesterday and observed a hummingbird dart in and out of a cloud of insects, consuming as many as she could handle.  I knew hummingbirds also ate insects, but this bird was zeroing in on her prey with a vengeance.  The nectar producing flowers are long gone, but this bird was using the available resources to survive.

Earlier in the week, I was looking out my window at the base of a tree 20 feet away.  I saw a creature I thought to be a rather large wooly worm, but it was moving too quickly.  Upon closer observation, I saw that it was about 2 and a half inches long with short gray fur and barely visible tail--a shrew!  Probably a Least Shrew.  I have never seen one above ground before.  Obviously, he or she was forced above ground in search for food (or water) for survival.
So, while these may be hard times for the plants and animals, this summer has provided opportunities to observe some interesting animals that might not normally be seen.  I wonder what new experiences  next week will bring.