This is a photo of an Eastern Blue that I took this last Thursday in the snow storm that we had here in Central North Carolina. I took this photo with a Canon Eos 7d Makr II and a Canon 100-400mm lens.
Yesterday the weather outside was quite nice, the warmth brought the Bee’s back out. Hopefully the Bee’s being out is a sign that Spring is near. I cannot wait until the weather warms up stays warm. I cannot wait until the Spring when the Frogs, Lizards, Snakes, and insects will be back out. The bee in this photo is a Honeybee I am not the exact of Bee it is. I took this photo with a Canon Eos7d and a Canon 100mm macro lens.
This is a photo of two American Bullfrogs out in the pond behind my house. The photo is actually combination of two images taken right after each other with different frogs in focus, merged together to make one picture with both of the Frogs in focus. Below is a video I made that shows the process of manually focus stacking or merging photos of the same subjects with different parts of the image in focus to make one image where everything is in focus. I hope you enjoy the video and please subscribe to the youtube channel and leave a comment.
The insect in the photo above is one that I have never seen before. I found this insect while I was out in the grassland area my house looking for Bees to photograph. The insect in the photo above is a Tree Hopper. There are over 3200 species of Tree Hoppers in the world. I believe that the Tree Hopper in this photo is a Buffalo Tree hopper. Tree Hoppers are rarely seen outside high up in trees except for when they are young, for a period of about six weeks when they feed on grass and plants down near the forest floor. before they go to spend most of the res of their lives up in the trees. Source http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/buffalo_treehopper.htm
Rough Green Snake Opheodrys Aestivus (Scientific name) This snake is called the Rough Green Snake due to its scales being rough to the touch. The Rough Green Snake is found throughout the Southeastern United States. These Snakes can be found from Florida to New Jersey and from Indiana to Central Texas. These snakes spend most of their time high up in Trees foraging for insects and Occasionally Tree Frogs to eat. I took these photos in October of 2013 with a Canon Rebel T4i and a Sigma 70-300mm lens.
I have been working on a new type of photography lately, time lapse photography. This is a time lapse video of the fog burning off over the mountains of Western North Carolina.
These bright Red Mushrooms in these photos are Vermilion Hygrophorus. Vermilion Hygrophorus can range in color from Blood red like the one pictured below to pale Orange. Vermilion Hygrophorus can either be smooth or have a rough texture such as the ones in this picture. The texture on this mushroom almost looks like a spikey apple to me. Vermilion Hygrophorus can grow individually or can grow in clusters. Vermilion Hygrophorus can grow in soil, in grass, moss, or dense forest. These two mushrooms were tiny it was less than half an inch tall I took this photo with a Canon Rebel T4i and a Canon 100mm Macro Lens.
This is a photo of an American Bullfrog I took with a Canon Rebel T4i and a Canon 100-400mm lens, out in the small pond behind my house. Frogs have large protruding eyes which give them a near 360 degree field of view, due to the positing and design of their eyes. Please click the link Below to learn more about Frog Eyes. http://184.108.40.206/~lastmil5/2014/04/28/frog-eyes-2/
The lizard in this photo is a Carolina Anole. I took this photo with a Canon Rebel T4i and a Canon 100mm Macro lens. More information about the Carolina Anole can be found in one of my earlier post called the Carolina Anole The American Chameleon linked to below. This post discusses how the Carolina Anole is able to change it’s color to blend in to its surroundings, as general information about the Carolina Anole. http://220.127.116.11/~lastmil5/2013/10/29/carolina-anole-the-american-chameleon
The Eastern Fence Lizard scientific name Sceloporus Undulatusis is among the biggest Lizards Found In North Carolina. The Eastern Fence Lizard ranges from 4-7.5-7 inches long. The Eastern Fence Lizard spend a lot of time in the trees which is how they got the nickname of the Pine Lizard. The Eastern Fence Lizard can be found from mid Florida to Upstate New York and as far West as Northern Texas and as far west as Colorado. Fence lizards can live to be up to five years old. The males can be distinguished from the Females by the presence of Blue Spots on the Lizards underbelly. Typically males also differ in color from the females the males are typically brown in color while the females are typically Grey with horizontal black stripes on their blacks.
This is a photo of an American Bullfrog out in the small pond behind my house. This Frog on this branch is a female you can tell because the Frogs Tympanic Membrane which is the Frogs Eardrum, which the circular indention below the Frogs eye. In females the membrane is smaller than the Frogs eye. In a male Bullfrog the Tympanic Membrane is nearly twice as big as the Frogs eye. This photo was taken with a Canon 100-400mm lens and Canon Rebel T4i.
An American Bullfrog and its reflection over the water is a truly beautiful sight. In addition to photography lately I have been working on making some nature based relaxation and meditation videos. The video below shows the reflection of the bullfrog moving with the water. Both the photo above and the video below were made with a Canon Rebel T4i and a Canon 100-400mm lens.
This is a photo of a Copperhead. The Copperhead is a Venomous snake found all over the Eastern Half of the United States. The Copperhead is found all throughout the eastern half of the United States, the Copperhead can be found from New Hampshire to Texas. The Copper head is referred to as a pit Viper Due to the heat sensing pits which are located on the sides of the snakes head between the snake’s eye and nostrils. In North Carolina there are fiver Pit Vipers, the Copperhead, Cottonmouth, Timber Rattlesnake, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake., and Pygmy Rattlesnake. Pit Vipers such as Copperheads can see both in the infrared and the normal spectrum. These heat sensing ports give Pit Vipers like the Copperhead the ability to sense heat radiating off of things in the range of 5-30 Micrometres. The heat sensing abilities of Pit Viper snakes is so precise that even blind Rattle Snakes are able to strike vulnerable parts of their prey. Scientist estimate that the heat sensing abilities of Pit Vipers are at least 10 times better than the most sensitive Infrared Cameras manufacteured by humans. The ability for pit Vipers to see in Infrared allows the snakes to be able to see and hunt for prey such as field mice which are warm blooded in total darkness. The heat that a field mice gives up shows up very bright in a snakes heat vision. The heat vision in these Snakes is made possible through the utilization of heat detecting membranes located under the Snakes pits. The heat sensing membranes have about 1600 infrared receptor cells that collect infrared light. Nerves transmit the data from the heat sensing membranes to the Snakes brain for processing. The information from the Snakes heat detectors are merged with the information from the snakes eyes, which gives the snake the ability to see in infrared and the normal spectrum at the same time. I took this photo out in the backyard with a Canon 100-400mm lens and a Canon Rebel T4i.
The Lizard in this photo is a Carolina Anole. The Carolina Anole is referred to as the American Chameleon due to its ability to change colors. More information about Carolina Anoles and their ability to change colors can be found by clicking on the link below. I took this photo with a Canon Rebel T4i and a Canon 100-400mm lens
This is a photo of a Painted Turtle. I took this photo with a Canon 100-400mm lens and a Canon Rebel T4i. The Painted Turtle is the most common Turtle Found in North America. It can be found from Canada to Northern Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The Female painted Turtle is larger than the males, male painted Turtles are have shells that are 7 inches long on average while the females can have shells 9 inches long.
This is a photo of a Red Bellied Water Snake. The Red Bellied Water Snake is often miss identified as a Cottonmouth snake. Due to the snake having a white interior inside their mouth and has similar outward appearance as a Cottonmouth. The Red Bellied Water Snake are known to spray attackers with a bad smelling musk and bite them. The Red Bellied Water Snake is found near swamps lakes and rivers. The Red Bellied water snake eats mostly Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders. I took this photo with a Canon 100-400mm lens and a Canon Rebel T4I
The Eastern Newt, also referred to as the Red Spotted Newt ,is found all over the East Coast of the United States. The Eastern Newt is found from Canada to the Great Lakes and as far down south as Texas and Alabama. The Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is the only species of Salamander that is native to North Carolina that has rough skin. Eastern Newts can be found in ponds, marshland, and slow moving streams. I found this Red Spotted Salamander while I was hiking in the Black Mountain Campground in the Pisgah National Forest located in Western North Carolina. I took these photos with a Canon Rebel T4i and Canon 100mm macro lens.
Bullfrogs as well as other types of Frogs are very patient they will sit in the same spot for hours and wait for an insect or anything really that gets to close to the Bull Frog will stick its long sticky tongue out and try to make a meal of the insect, or anything else that gets too close the the Bullfrog. The act of a bullfrog snatching up a meal with its long tongue something that I have been trying to get some photo or video of for a while, hopefully this summer that will be something I can capture. This photo was taken with a Canon 100-400mm lens and Canon Rebel T4i.
If you have ever been outside on a warm night you know just how loud Frogs and Toads can be. Frogs and Toads call to attract mates. Male Frogs and Toads call to attract females. Below is a video of an American Toad Calling to attract a mate. I took this video in a pond behind my house using a Canon 100mm macro lens and Canon Rebel T4i.
You can see in the video the Toads eardrum is the circular indention behind their eyes. You can also tell from the video that this toad calls quite loud, Frogs and Toads are able to call at upwards of 90 decibels. Frogs and Toads have quite sensitive hearing, it begs the question how do they not damage their eardrums and deafen themselves with their loud calls. Scientist have discovered that Frogs hear with both their ear drums and their lungs and a pressure system builds inside the Frog that minimizes vibrations from internal noises made by the frog. To further elaborate on this I need to talk about how a frogs ear drum works. A frogs ear drum is called a Tympanum. A frogs Tympanum works in ver much the same way that our human ear drums work. A frogs ear drum, just like a humans ear drum is a membrane that is stretched across a ring of cartilage like a snare drum that vibrates. There is rod that is connected to the ear drum , which vibrates by sounds that come at the frog.Remember from school that sound is just pressure waves. The rod sloshes around in the inner ear fluid, which causes microscopic hairs to move, which send signals to the frogs brain for interception. A frogs ear lungs also vibrate when sound waves come toward the frog, although they are less sensitive than the frogs ear drum. Some frogs like the Spring Peeper, pictured right
have a call that are so loud that they heard for up to one mile away. These creatures are so noisy that it is a wonder that they do not hurt their ears and deafen themselves with their own calls. Frogs have a very clever method of making sure that their own loud calls do not hurt their own hearing. In 1988 Scientist Peter Narins who is a professor at UCLA of Physiological science found have found that frogs have an internal pressure system, a closed air loop. that keeps the frogs own ear drum from vibrating excessively from its own call. Scientist have found that pressure builds between their lungs and ear drum, which then equalizes the pressure between the inner and outer surfaces of the frogs ear drum, which greatly cuts down on the vibrations that a frog experiences, from their internal calls. It is also believed that another purpose of the closed loop pressure system is so the Frogs can detect the direction a sound is coming from with its lungs so frogs can escape danger while calling. Being in the vicinity of frogs calling can subject a human to sounds so loud that they are upwards of 90 db ,which can cause discomfort and hearing loss for humans.
Sources: Holladay APril: Frogs Can Hear Without Ears. 4/26/2001. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/science/wonderquest/2001-04-25-frog-ears.htm
Frogs due to the positioning and design of their eyes have nearly a 360 degree view. This makes up for the fact that Frogsare not able to turn their head and look behind them like other animals can. Frogs with their nearly 360 degree of field of view make it difficult for predators to sneak up on them. Frogs also are unable to move their eyes within their eye sockets like humans and other animals can. This causes a Frog to have to turn his head to line up with its prey. Frogs cannot see while they are attacking prey, so they must have their prey lined up when they go in for the strike. Frogs are unable see their prey while they are making a strike because, when their sticky tongue comes out to snatch up an insect their eyes retract into the top of their head. Frogs are near sighted they do not see very well at a distance. Their eyes are extremely sensitive to movement if a Frogs prey does not move they will not detect it. Frogs also have excellent night vision, due to having a mirror like layer in the back of their eye called a Tapetum. The Tapetum helps Frogs reflect and collect ambient light between the back of the eye and the Frogs Cornea. Frogs also use their eyes in a rather interesting way, frogs are unable to swallow like Humans and other animals so they actually push their eyes down into their head to push their food into their stomach.
Frogs eyes come in all different colors, Frog eyes ranger from copper to bronze to gold to silver in color, to orange and red, like the Eyes of the Red Eyed Tree Frog.
Frogs have three different eye lids. The third eye lid of a frog is the most interesting. The third eyelid is a clear membrane, it is called a Nictitating membrane, and this eye lid helps the frog to see underwater as well as to hide from predators.
It is Spring time here in North Carolina, and the warm weather has brought the toads back out from their burrows, and they have come out of hibernation. The American toad, as well as other frogs , have one thing on their mind after they come out of hibernation ,that is reproduction. The male toads call for the females, and the female toads select the males with the loudest calls as their mate. I took this video on the bank of a pond behind my house. Below we see a male American toad who has climbed onto the back of a female who he has attracted with his calls. When a male assumes this position it is called amplexus, which is a fancy word for mating position. As the female releases her eggs into the water in a long string ,then the male fertilizes them. I took this video and photo with a Canon Rebel T4i and Canon 100mm Macro lens. For the lighting I used a Newer CN-160 led light pod mounted to the top of my camera. Now that the weather is warm, and the frogs and toads have come back out and I am working on some documentary clips about frogs and toads of North Carolina.
The Frog in this photo is an American Bullfrog. American Bullfrogs are the largest Frogs found in the United States. American Bullfrogs can measure up to 8 inches from their snout to the back of their bodies. American Bullfrogs often times sit for hours submerged in water, with all but their heads exposed, waiting for prey to come by. American Bullfrogs have a long sticky tongue that they use to snatch up prey that gets too close to them. Hopefully this Spring/Summer I will be able to either get a photograph or a video of a Bullfrog snatching up some prey with its long sticky tongue.
Its Spring Time here in Central North Carolina the Frogs are back out and they are calling. After a long hard winter we see that the Frogs are ready to reproduce. We can see the first Southern Leopard Frog in the video’s calls were successful in attracting a Female. The video below is a video that I shot with a Neewer 160 Led light pod and Canon RebelT4i and Canon 100mm macro lens. My next goal is to try get some video of the illusive spring Peepers calling.
The first warm rain has brought the Tree Frogs back out of hibernation. The Frog in this photo is an American Green Tree Frog. I took this photo with a Canon Rebel T4i and Canon 100mm Macro lens. This was the last photo I was able to get before the battery in my camera died. Hopefully in the coming days I will have time to go out and look for more Tree Frogs to photograph.
This is a photo of a Spotted Salamander. I took this photo in the small, shallow pond behind my house. I took this photo using a Canon Rebel T4i and a Canon 100mm Macro lens. The Spotted salamander is one of the Largest species of Salamanders found in North Carolina, the Spotted Salamander can be up to 9 inches in length. In the wild Spotted Salamanders can live to be up to 20 years old. The Spotted Salamander can be found in heavily forested areas in the Mountain and Piedmont regions of North Carolina. The Spotted Salamander is most active at night, and Is rarely seen because it spends most of its time underground. The Spotted salamander only comes out at night to find prey, as well in the Spring when its mating season. In my previous located below post I talked about how Spotted Salamanders lay their eggs in the early Spring in shallow pools.
sources, and more information about spotted salamander
The spotted Salamander is a a large Salamander, it is one of the largest Salamanders found in North Carolina. The Spotted Salamander can be found all through the deciduous forest of Canada and the Eastern United States, The Spotted Salamanders can be found from Nova Scotia to Southern Georgia and as far west as Eastern Texas. The Spotted Salamander ranges in size from 5.9 inches to 9.8 inches long. The Spotted Salamander can live up to twenty years. Spotted Salamanders usually range in color from black, to grey, and to dark green, with yellow spots. Spotted Salamanders spend a lot of their time underground, and are rarely seen. The Spotted Salamander only only comes out after a rain and to look for food, at night. Spotted Salamanders diets consist of earthworms, snails, spiders, centipedes and other insects. Salamanders like other amphibians hibernate for the winter. Spotted Salamanders come out of hibernation in the early Spring to breed. I took this photo on a warm February night of 20014, after some pretty heavy rains had fallen. The photos show a female Spotted Salamander laying and attaching her eggs to a small twig underwater,in a very shallow pond behind my house. I took this photo using a Canon 100mm Macro Lens and Neewer 160 Led Light attached to my camera. After the eggs are laid Green Algae grows over the eggs to help camouflage the eggs so that Fish, and Frogs will not eat the eggs. Hopefully I can get some photos of these Eggs hatching as well as some photos of Spotted Salamanders on Dry land.