Readers’ wildlife photos

August 6, 2022 • 8:00 am

I have about five days worth of photos left, so please send yours in.

Today we have contributions from several readers. Leading off is Bryan Lepore, whose captions are indented. Click the photos to enlarge them:

Dear PCC(E) – here’s a photo of a gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) in my area. I like the anthropomorphically pleasurable facial expression. These little guys use the gutters as resonating chambers to sound their mating calls. This one is near the gutter, but is hiding well with coloration (second photo).

From Christopher Moss, a great blue heron (Ardea herodias):

Found a feathered dinosaur eating my fish and frogs, early this morning. At least he (or she) stands in the shallows and takes the little ones. I noticed on getting up that the bullfrogs were silent this morning, and I wonder if they have the sense to keep quiet when such a monster is looking for breakfast?

That bulge in his neck is one of my fish!

I found this one from Christopher sent last year during our email conversation about this fine dessert, and I couldn’t resist adding it. Maybe we should introduce food posts from readers? I LOVE rice pudding!

Today I decided to make a rice pudding to illustrate the process. I used one Japanese cup of long grain rice, and one of sticky rice, well-rinsed beforehand (the Japanese cup measure that comes with the Zojirushi cookers is about ½ a US cup measure). I didn’t have any short grain rice in the house, and since I’m not allowed out , I decided to wing it. Filled the rice cooker to the 2 cup mark with home made soy milk (I had this and skim milk. Again, not allowed out – my ANC is zero this week! – so I improvised). Switched it on to the white rice program and set a timer for 30 minutes. At that point there is only a little milk left unabsorbed, so I take out the inner liner and put it on the stove to finish the job. I added a total of four TBSP white sugar, one pinch of ground nutmeg and about another cup (US) of soy milk, along with a can of evaporated milk as it simmered very slowly for about another twenty minutes.

Here it is just after going on the stove:

. . . ..and here after cooking. I shall keep it in this container in the fridge and it will be eaten over the next two or three days by three of us. The ludicrously clever Zojirushi is next to it.

And northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), looking a bit shopworn, from Divy in Florida.

The cardinals are the most common and give us the best show. We’ve seem them in all stages, from courting to pairing up, and seeing the brood make their way to our feeders and to our mulberry trees to pick the ripe berries.

5 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Mark Sturtevant educated us on tree frogs – I give a hasty note, a tad long (apologies) from this post :

    Mr. Sturtevant :

    “It could be one of two species that are around here, either Hyla chrysoscelis, or H. versicolor. These are identical in appearance, although their songs are different. Interestingly, the second species is a polyploid descendant of the other species. ”

    I looked up the frogs (again) on Wikipedia :

    H. chrysoscelis;'s_gray_treefrog

    Dryophytes versicolor
    Synonym : Hyla versicolor LeConte, 1825

    I found an interesting note on evolution :

    “Dryophytes versicolor is known to be largely intersterile with D. chrysoscelis but there may be a limited amount of interfertility in sympatry. To enforce speciation there may be unknown mechanisms of reinforcement deployed between these species and further research may be fruitful.[11]”

    11. Noor, Mohamed A. F. (1999). “Reinforcement and other consequences of sympatry”. Heredity. The Genetics Society (Nature). 83 (5): 503–508.

    ^^^ I’m pretty sure that is one of PCC(E)’s Ph.D. student, highlighted a number of times on WEIT.

  2. Lovely photos! Yes, to the foodie posts.

    Is the fish in the heron’s gullet a Koi? (Ouch)
    Many years ago, our d*gs chased off a blue heron merrily fishing in our pond. It took off with an enormous gold fish which I later learned was left half-consumed on a neighbour’s gazebo. I can still hear my late husband’s battlecry each time he spies a heron in the garden, “Release the hounds!!’ I loved the herons, though pterodactyls they be.

    1. It was a little lake trout. I don’t fish for them, but I’d rather the otters had them than a stupid dinosaur. Silly, really, but there we are.

  3. Very good! I can also recommend the rice cookers that can be popped into a microwave. Perfect rice every time, once you learn to calibrate it.

  4. The blue heron, one of which hangs out (occasionally) at the pond near our home, is one of our favorites.

    The cardinals here are looking fairly shopworn as well; we don’t know if it’s autumn plumage, post-partum blues, or if we are seeing juveniles, our birdwatching/ornithological skills being rudimentary at best.

    As always, thanks for all the photos.

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