Sunday, March 25, 2018

Woodland Frogs and Friendly Beasts

A weekend with my daughter.  Time to ignore the emails (at least for a few hours), step away from unnecessary obligations, and get back into nature.

I might have bribed her with Brussels sprouts.

I'm serious.

We were going food shopping and that could no longer be avoided.  I ate fortune cookies for lunch Thursday.  I didn't want more take out.  And Annie's mac and cheese was still gluten and dairy, which I try to avoid.  Still...

Between the several Northeasters we had recently, I had dragged my partner to Powder Mills Wildlife Refuge to check out all the fallen trees.  When we got to the parking lot, I distinctly heard wood frogs!  (Listen here.)  I was not prepared to look for them then.  Instead, I was careful to keep looking up as we followed the path, watching for trees that might be ready to fall.  We took several trails, getting blocked near the power lines, finding lots of deer scat, then finishing up an hour and a half later.  Outside time accomplished!

This place is on the way to the supermarket.  I had my shopping bags.  I also had my tall rain boots from Savers, my camera, and a net.


"We're going to look for frogs!"

As my daughter and I pulled into the parking lot, I heard them, as well as spring peepers!  My daughter refused to wear a coat, and I carefully stepped into the marsh, testing each step and my balance with the camera and camera bag.  I was calf deep when I found the eggs...

About nine clusters.

Would I see a wood frog?  I never had.

What's that?


It's a stick.

This is NOT a stick!

Wow!  It's much smaller than I thought it would be. 

I had started a sketch of one.

The frog stayed very still, turning occasionally so I could get several different shots.

This was taken just a few inches away.  
But he would not be held to show my daughter.  
I mucked my way back with photos.

That was Saturday.  Sunday, I sing in a choir and bring my daughter, armed with drawing materials.  She got herself to class and I answered work and volunteer emails during rehearsal breaks.  Then I found her and we invited a friends to journey with us, to one of the highest points in Rhode Island: Neutaconkinut Hill.

It wasn't as high as Jerimoth Hill (811 ft), but its 296 feet above sea level made it the highest point in Rhode Island.  We began our ascent.

 More storm-damaged trees.

A hickory nut?

Atop one of the lookout areas.

A low nest...with nuts!

After walking through briars, a disappointing squirrel dray.

A shovel for some reason.

How about I take some photos from below?

Overhead view below:

Strangely perpendicular branches.

We found creeks and ponds and perhaps a vernal pool, but no frogs.

Snow, or perhaps tiny hail, fell and melted on our clothes.

A bent trunk like the one below was one way Native Americans signaled trails.

Dog print.  We met a friendly one on the trail.

Almost jewel and pearl-like lichen and fungus.

A portal.

The giant has fallen and they climbed to the "top".

I see a Skeksi here.

Derpy face!

Someone left there Camaros here.

What new heights will we reach next?