Category Archives: Nature: plant and animal identification

Redbacked Salamander Found In Southern NH Yard

I found this Redbacked Salamander while visiting NH recently. I found this guy after only about 5 minutes of searching. I’m told they are not hard to find if you look in the right place: he was under a rock. I released it after a brief photo shoot.

This salamander is called a Northern Redback Salamander, as well as, an Eastern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus). It can also be found in Maryland but I haven’t found one here yet.

Note the four toes in the back and the three in the front.

Photography And Videography By Children: Blue Dasher Grooming

Nature photography and videography is fun for children: not just adults. It’s a great way to merge art and science. Consider getting a camera. More likely you or they already have one. So get out there and have a look around and bring a camera.

This female blue dasher was rescued from a little kid’s pool by my younger daughter while my older daughter made this video.

This is a really neat video of a female blue dasher dragonfly grooming itself. Look how its head amazingly turns around.

Wow, the cool things we’ll see if we only take the time to notice.

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.