Author Archives: jane

Look For Cope’s Gray Treefrog Eggs

Male and female frogs in amplexus. The male is holding on to the female and will fertilize her eggs as she releases them.

Recently (early Aug. 2012) I discovered several cope’s gray treefrogs gathering around the edge of our kiddie pool. They were calling for females. Later that evening I went out to check on them and was excited to find that a female did show up. When I woke up in the morning I found 3 to 5 hundred eggs in the pool. Keep an ear out for these beautiful frogs. Your best bet is at night during or just after it rains.

Another male calls for a mate.

On a side note, if you have an inflatable style kiddie pool and there are treefrogs in your area, make sure you leave in a stick or similar item in the pool providing an exit route. It is not a bad idea to also leave something in that floats: a Frisbee for example. We think of frogs living in ponds but treefrogs live up in trees or in bushes. They can drown in “ponds”. I found several treefrogs that drowned in only 3 inches of water (in a blow-up pool). Sad indeed. All our other “ponds” (made of hard plastic or galvanized metal) never had this happen. Perhaps because the inflatable pool was nearly empty making the sides lean in making it hard for them to get out.

Make Your Own Clever Stick Door Handle

This is a door handle fashioned from a stick. It was on a cabin door at a camp I was at recently.

I love it!

It wouldn’t be too hard to make one. Cut the stick, drill holes, and add screws. It looks like whoever made this handle just wrapped some string around the exposed screw threads.

I might make some drawer handles, or make a handle for a cabinet.

If you make one, I’d love for you to send me a picture.

Visit to The Audubon Camp on Hog Island 2012

I was lucky enough to attend a five day workshop for environmental educators on Hog Island in Maine. Hog Island is amazing! My trip was wonderful: great people, staff, food, weather, and wildlife viewing. The accommodations were quant: it was very “New England” and I loved it. I made many friends.

I learned a lot from the camp’s accomplished staff. They shared their many talents with us: birds, insects, sea life, and geology to name a few. During my time alone, exploring this gorgeous island, I discovered many new plants, insects, and of course, birds. On the boat trips, I was delighted to see several birds that I had never seen before, such as, Atlantic puffins and black guillemots. I was also thrilled in seeing harbor seals for the first time. So cool!!

Thank you to the Southern Maryland Audubon Society for funding my tuition to the Audubon camp on Hog Island (July 2012); it was fantastic! Did I mention how great it was?

I highly recommend you plan your own trip! It doesn’t matter if you are new to birding or an advanced birder, there is always more to learn and the staff is happy for you to come and learn at your own pace. If you enjoy nature, you are sure to love it here. They offer camps on ornithology, seabird conservation and even have a family camp. Hog Island is the perfect location for such workshops.

Learn more about the Audubon camp on Hog Island and the Programs they offer here.

How to Make Watermelon Teeth: An Amusing summertime Activity

My children were taught how to make watermelon teeth years ago when they were still little. Their grandma carved the watermelon rinds and showed how to put it into your mouth. We thought it was funny then and we still find it funny now. So fun to do with family and friends! All you need is a watermelon and a knife.

When you are done eating a slice of water melon, don’t just toss the rind; make watermelon teeth! They are also called Billy Bob Teeth.

After eating the sweet red part of the watermelon, cut off the green part as well.

Cut the center of the mouth, as well as, vertical lines to make the teeth.

You may need to carve the rind a bit to make it fit.

Make top dentures only for an overbite look or sport a full set.

Attract Butterflies By Putting Out Fruit Scraps

This time of year we find ourselves enjoying fruit like only the summer provides. When we are done, we like to leave some for the butterflies. We learned this trick by accident years ago when my children were small. Our scraps brought unexpected visitors: butterflies of striking beauty.

We love to watch the butterflies that are attracted to rotting fruit.

Apparently when a piece of fruit begins to rot, some butterflies like to “drink up”. This viceroy butterfly uses its proboscis to suck up some of the watermelon’s sweet goodness.

I have many fun memories of butterfly watching with my kids. It will never get old. (This picture was taken years ago.)