Monday, August 15, 2011

Natural History Appreciation Safety, Plus More Toads

I'm back from my trip to the Adirondacks. It was a really nice trip, got in some great hikes. However, on one of our hikes we got slightly lost in the woods. Obviously, I'm fine, I'm here typing away, and looking back everything was more or less under control. We took a wrong turn onto another trail, probably a series of canoe carries, and were very easily able to retrace our steps and get back towards our trail-head.

But it reminded me that when we start to become fairly experienced hikers we can forget the simple safety rules. So I thought I would send out this natural history appreciation PSA: even if you think everything will be fine (we did that morning) bring more water and snacks than you think you'll need and tell someone exactly where you're going and when you plan to be back. That doesn't mean "we're going somewhere around Saranac," it means exactly where. It will at least give you the peace of mind that someone knows where you are even if you aren't in any actual danger.

And now, on to the images:

A wood frog, the first of probably 60 or so amphibians we saw on this hike. I was surprised at how many more frogs and toads we saw compared to the Whites. The Adirondacks are just that much more remote and therefore that much cleaner, which keeps it a great place to be an amphibian. Poor little fellows and their permeable skin.

Some holes in a tree. Made by beetles, probably.

The hike passed by several ponds, further making the area an ideal home for amphibians. I wasn't able to get an image but we saw a mink at this one. And...

a thrill seeking caterpillar.

The first of many toads. Some kind of Bufo sp. Apparently they frequently interbreed and produce hybrid toads despite their unique mating calls.

We saw several frogs at this pond.

At this point in the hike is when the toads got really crazy. We must have seen about 40 of them in a quarter mile range or so. They were all tiny, so probably having just metamorphosed. Again, they look like some Bufo sp. or hybrids.

There really were so many that we had to be careful not to step on the tiny little vertebrates.

The next day we hiked up Mount Ampersand, one of "high peaks" of the Adirondacks. We didn't see as much fauna but the view was...pretty nice. I believe that is Middle Saranac in the image.

After coming back to the city I've had some nature withdrawal so I've been out walking and already have some new images. Stay tuned the rest of the week for some Boston natural history.

No comments:

Post a Comment