Author Archives: jane

Cherry Pit and Stem Art

After you enjoy eating a bag of cherries this year, amuse yourself and your family too with these Cherry faces. Save the cherry pits and stems to create some amusing faces. My kids and I “painted” these faces using the computer after I took the pictures but all you will need is a marker to draw on the details.

Wouldn’t these be fun to make into cards? Ideas: Birthday card (smile), encouragement card for a friend dealing with stress (stresses out), sympathy card (sad face), Happy you are my teacher card (happy face)…

Glue the pits (eyes) and the stems (mouth) down on a piece of paper if you want to use it as part of your canvas. Alternatively, don’t glue them down. That way you can rearrange them as much as you want as an amusing way to spend some of you summer vacation time. (Eyes can be reversible: draw on both sides.) Here are a bunch of ideas to get you started.

Southern Maryland Reptiles and Amphibians: Male Broad-headed Skink

This broad-headed skink (Plestiodon laticeps)  is a male. It is non venomous. Males of this species are easy to identify because their head will turn bright orange during their breeding season. Also, if you compared the head size of a male and a female with similar sized bodies, the head of the male would be larger.

My daughter discovered this guy just outside our house.

Southern Maryland Reptiles and Amphibians: Broad-headed Skink

This is a broad-headed skink that I found recently. Time to look for lizards!

The female broad-headed skink (Plestiodon laticeps) looks similar to the five-lined skink (Plestidon fasciatus). Both have a blue tail when young; the adult females might have a blue tail as well. To distinguish the two species apart, you must look closely at the scales on the upper lip.

A broad-headed skink (Plestiodon laticeps) has 5 scales on its upper lip from the nostril to the corner of its eye. The five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) had four scales.

Southern Maryland Reptiles and Amphibians: Copes Gray Treefrog

There are two species of gray treefrogs in Maryland: Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) and Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis). You can’t tell them apart by looking at them. They do however have different calls.

This frog is a Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) found on my deck. I’ve heard its call and the map (link below) confirms its range in Southern MD.

You can hear their calls and see a map of Southern MD showing their ranges here.

Cope’s Gray Treefrog