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Cold Blooded
Lens: FA 50 macro, FA 100 macro, Tokina 400, etc Camera: K-5 Photo Location: East Tennessee 
Posted By: mole, 05-09-2016, 08:48 PM

Continuing to play "catch-up" with some photos from earlier in the spring, here are some East Tennessee amphibians and reptiles. First up are a few shots of one of our smallest native frogs. Chorus frogs are tiny, and begin singing as early as late February. That big throat helps project the sound of his mating call.






And a few snapshots of another early-season singer - Wood Frogs. Their duck-like call is heard here in let February and early March.






Eggs show up soon after.




Our American Toads start singing a bit later in the season - these guys were singing in late March. It was worth getting rather damp to catch these friendly fellows mid-song.










Early spring is also salamander season. Here's one with an appropriate name - the Slimy Salamander. They give off some super-sticky slime when disturbed!




And here's a Seal Salamander - this species is a surprisingly good jumper!




Spring Salamanders are one of our largest species. They prefer small, slightly muddy, cool springs - and they sure move fast!








This tiny reptile was hardly moving at all. Ring-Necked snakes are usually smaller than a pencil, and spend most of their time underground. This shy little one was probably enjoying some of the warmth from this sun-soaked quartzite rock.






Just one more cold-blooded friend - a Black Rat Snake. From the looks of the soil stains on his head, he had probably just come out of his winter sleep! But he's not sticking out his tongue to be rude, he's just "tasting" the air!








Hope you enjoyed these glimpses of the scaly and the slimy. Thanks for your comments & critique!
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05-09-2016, 11:50 PM   #2
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Nice, informative series of excellent, sharp captures. Thanks for sharing. :-)
Best.
CV
05-10-2016, 06:14 AM   #3
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I am always amazed that it is even possible to get frog and toad photos. I can never find them. These are sharp and beautifully presented. Another great job.
05-10-2016, 02:37 PM   #4
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Excellent animal photography. When I was a high school student (many moons ago ), I'm sure my interest in natural science would of been heightened if the biology textbook contained pictures such as yours.

As another said, it is very difficult to get a frog/toad to 'pose'. I have tried to sneak up on Boreal Chorus Frogs when their croaking out their mating calls in the spring...without any luck at all. I seem to not be able to get within any sort of shooting distance with them and I'm using serious, focal length equipment.... my Sigma 150-500.

It's especially frustrating, as I'm assuming if they're issuing mating calls, their little frog minds would be otherwise occupied.


Last edited by lesmore49; 05-10-2016 at 02:51 PM.
05-10-2016, 06:04 PM   #5
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And there I was expecting Mole pictures,

Now what made me say that
05-10-2016, 06:31 PM   #6
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Charlie Victor Quote
Nice, informative series of excellent, sharp captures. Thanks for sharing. :-)
Best.
CV
So glad you enjoyed these!


QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
I am always amazed that it is even possible to get frog and toad photos. I can never find them. These are sharp and beautifully presented. Another great job.
Frog & toad photos are really not that hard, as long as you don't mind getting very wet & muddy! But, after several years of trying, I have still failed to get any good photos of the Spring Peeper frogs singing. They are little ventriloquists, and very hard (for my old eyes) to spot while they are singing. Will try again next year...

QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Excellent animal photography. When I was a high school student (many moons ago ), I'm sure my interest in natural science would of been heightened if the biology textbook contained pictures such as yours.

As another said, it is very difficult to get a frog/toad to 'pose'. I have tried to sneak up on Boreal Chorus Frogs when their croaking out their mating calls in the spring...without any luck at all. I seem to not be able to get within any sort of shooting distance with them and I'm using serious, focal length equipment.... my Sigma 150-500.

It's especially frustrating, as I'm assuming if they're issuing mating calls, their little frog minds would be otherwise occupied.
Thanks! I have used some of these photos while teaching students - but prefer to take them out to the "real thing" when possible. Here's a tip for Chorus Frog photos (works for our Upland Chorus Frogs, so hope this will also work for the Boreals): When you locate a small pool or pond where they are singing, no matter how slow and quiet you are, they all quit singing. But, if you sit down in the water (!!!) at the edge and wait without moving for about 20 minutes, they'll start singing again. Trick is to have your camera out and aimed, so you don't have to move much after they start up again. Some of my favorite Chorus Frog photos were taken last year, while I was lying down in the mud, camera on small tripod, using the "180 macro" (90mm adaptall plus 2X TC). Probably could have gotten them with the 100 macro, but hands were too muddy to allow me to change lenses!

QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
And there I was expecting Mole pictures,

Now what made me say that
05-20-2016, 12:31 AM   #7
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Love the snake close-ups!

Adam
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