Photos of readers

Send ’em in, people! After this one I have only one left, and it would be sad to lose this feature.

Today’s reader is Christopher, whose words are indented.

In response to your photo request, I offer one of myself doing one of the few things that helps keep me sane (well, relatively so) during the lockdown: wandering around my 1.5 acres and observing the flora and fauna found there. This was a rare “selfie” of me with the first box turtle of the year. This is my favorite rite of spring. There are several ornate and three-toed box turtles that live on or around my property which is bounded on one side by a small creek and on another by a cow pasture. I also enjoy the company of at least four snake species, five amphibians, 30-odd bird species, foxes, rabbits, opossums, raccoons, feral cats, and untold numbers of invertebrates.  Indoors, I share a shack with a large orange cat, a Russian tortoise, two African water turtles, and some fish but it’s the unkempt wild acreage that keeps me just this side of sanity. I count myself as lucky when compared to you urban apartment dwellers with little or no outdoor access.

For my second photo, one of my amphibious neighbors whom I find every day in between my back door and screen door, a gray tree frog, Dryophytes (formerly Hyla) versicolor. You may have Ceiling Cat but I have a lesser-known god, Door Frog. Here he is perched upon his throne, last year’s mud dauber nest. Yesterday he was surrounded by three other amphibian apostles. Praise be to Hyla.


19 thoughts on “Photos of readers

  1. Coming from the farm I know what you mean by having some open land to get out in and remove the insanity. Hope you leave the porch light on for the frog. It helps with insect collection.

    1. I should have added the plentiful red squirrels, as I have many pecan and walnut trees, along with oaks galore, and I planted some native hazelnuts. Moles, voles, and shrews abound as well, which keeps the red shouldered hawks and the barred owls around. Deer pass through, but it seems only to kill the cider apple trees I’ve planted. But, c’est la vie à la campange. I am trying my best to plant as many different native plants/flowers as possible to attract the maximum wildlife so I cannot complain when the do!

  2. Awe, who went and moved my frog friends into a different genus?! I guess I should have checked before sending the photo. It’s hard to keep up on taxonomic revision, even in lockdown with nothing better to do. Dryophytes it is. I had five of the little buggers on the south side of my shack last night. I have an old stock tank that I’ve turned into a pathetic little water garden (with water lily, pickerel weed, monkey flower, horsetail) that attracts them and they seem to do fine, whether I leave the porch light on or not.

    1. A nice substitute for a porch light is an LED solar light. They are very subdued, but probably attract a few insects to the patio of your frog restaurant.

    1. Would were I not so pathetic at technology. He is a typical Garfield-type cat, fat and with attitude. Well, to be honest, he’s a jerk, but he still beats having a human roommate. I haven’t weighed him myself but when I got him I believe he was north of 15 lbs., and he has moobs. His only hobbies are sleeping, eating, and sitting on the front porch watching the world go by, unless he spies the evil yellow tom who sometimes wanders through. They have had many fights through the window screen (usually around 3 A.M., for maximum effect) and a few in person bouts when we were outside.

  3. … my property which is bounded … on another [side] by a cow pasture.

    If you don’t mind takin’ a tip from a City Mouse, Christopher, watch your step when you wander off that side of your spread. 🙂

  4. Very good! I found a lovely ornate box turtle a few weeks ago. Lovely animal. I bet the holy Door Frog would appreciate it if you left the porch light on for a while, to pull in some sacrificial insects.

  5. Belief in Door Frog is less unhinged than most religions. (Apologies in advance, that’s terrible, even by my low standards!)

  6. Christopher, with the abundant wildlife on your property, will we be seeing any pictures of it in the Reader’s Wildlife Photos feature? Inquiring minds want to know.

  7. How do the amphibians find their perches…I swear they’re as good as birds. Those finger pads are killer. Need photos of your African turtles please…as well as the tortoise. 🙂

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