As temperatures have been rising last week, I started visiting the moor frog area daily. The first three visits I did not see or hear any frog or other amphibian. On Tuesday, when I was at work, I received a sign that the first blue frogs were seen.
Near the lake are two ponds with warmer water in which the majority of the moor frogs can be found and in which the spawn will be laid. Last Wednesday afternoon, I visited the area to 'catch' the moor frogs but to my surprise it seemed that they became more shy than last year. I used my new 150-600 mm lens but with every small step I made, a lot of the blue frogs dived under and their bubbling noise disappeared. Although I visited the ponds with warm and sunny weather when the frogs were active, their timidity became frustrating.
On Friday, I checked the ponds twice and in the early afternoon when the sun was shining a lot of moor frogs were in the both ponds and two moor frogs were a little bit cooperative.
It costed me some time and wet clothes to approach the moor frogs slowly.
Because of the backlight, I twice choose consciously an overexposure and used the flash to obtain their blue colour which they only have a few days to attract female frogs and ...... a lot of photographers.
Masters of disguise
On my way to the Common Tree Frog area I had to think to one of my favourite songs ever as I realized that zeven years have got behind me since I visited that area. The sun is the same in a relative way, but I'm older.
Together with photographer Ed van Dam I walked to the 'old' spots with the expectation to find a lot of Common Tree Frogs. Actually, it was long before we found the first green frog between green leaves. The second, third and fourth frog were also familiar with the camouflage trick. The fifth frog had a contradistinctionary character as he was not sitting on a green leaf nor climbed he away quickly.
Although it was warm, we only found six frogs but heard complete choirs of them on different places in the distance. Next year, I will surely visit this area again as it has so much more to offer.
The weather was magnificent last week and I took some hours off to enjoy it! While I was waiting for a peacock butterfly which returned regularly to the flowering violets, I noticed that my cat ‘Dizzy’ was lying in a strange (kind of attacking) position in the grass.
She was looking to something big brown which was not moving and looking like a clod of earth. But, it wasn’t a clod but a beautiful big frog.
She did not harm/touch the frog at all but her hunting instinct come alive as soon the frog was moving. But the frog was clever and did not move anymore and Dizzy could not find the frog in the grass. It was amazing to see that my cat was walking a few mm next to the frog and did not see it!
After my cat got tired of the hide and seek game she left the frog and the frog left me.....the never ending story of my life.
Last Sunday it felt like it was summer and as I had to work on my condition I decided to visit the moor frogs by bike. It was a great experience cyclying through the woods and to see brimstones everywhere. I parked my bike against a tree and walked through the little path to the water and heard the bubbling noise of the moor frogs....woop.....wop wop woop.....wop. As soon as I saw the water surface in the distance I noticed plop plop and plop everywhere and the moor frogs were gone.
After a while I noticed a small frog profile between the vegetation and with my long-photo lens and converter I crawled through the mud on the waterside to find a better view.
From all the moor frogs which must have been there, this mister was the only one who dived under when I moved but immediately came up again and stayed near the waterside. I changed my lens and tried to come a little bit closer. Every movement from me was a kind of tsunami for him.
As my tripod is little bit too high in the lowest position in the shallow part of the water, I stabilized my camera with my both arms in the water and resting on a part of the tripod. After he allowed me to come very close I let him go as I was wet all over.
While I was emptying my rubber boots I noticed two eyes between the eggs and there was the second cooperating frog who allowed me to take some picture before she dived under again.
It’s a pity that these beautiful frogs are that shy here. I’m a bit jealous about some German and Austrian area’s where hundreds of blue frogs are busy with frogs and not with photographers.
Yesterday afternoon, I visited a wooded area were I found the White Admiral in former years. Because there are not much butterflies around at the moment, I did not expect to find these rare butterflies. Entering this magnificent sultry wood with a lot of glades, I immediately saw some White Admirals. For about two hours I chased after these beautiful black and white butterflies trying to get a reasonable photo but without any success.....they were too active and too quick.
Besides a lot of White Admirals, I saw one Pale Clouded Yellow, a lot of Ringlets, at least hundred of Meadow Browns, some Comma Butterflies and one was laying eggs, a lot of caterpillars of the Peacock and Map Butterfly and some Large Skippers. Unfortunately I could not stay longer in this area nor do I have an opportunity to return soon. So probably next year will be the next chance to photograph the White Admiral.
On my way back I passed a pool with some loudmouths in it and a beautiful reflection appeared on the water. Lying down, eye to eye with this frog I suddenly had to think about a fairy tale.....
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.