Friday, October 14, 2011

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) Here’s a link to the wikipedia entry, Spring Peeper.
Now notice his colour—it’s a pretty darned good match to the leaf he’s sitting on.  We found him, and several others while we lunched on a log in Magnetawan Provincial Park (where my friends live—lucky them), and all of them where the exact same shade of autumn. My friend and I had a real photo fest, duelling camera’s, butts in the air as we bent over and crawled along the forest floor trying to get that perfect shot.  We were a pair of sylvan paparazzi . Most of the time, the camoflage was so good, that we where shooting blind. After I got the photo’s onto my computer, I had to play ‘find the frog’ to enlarge and crop the photo’s. I’m telling you this, because I never see mentions of spring peepers have the ability to change colour, but these photo’s certainly point to that being a strong possibility. I’ve noticed the same thing with American Toads; wherever I find them, they seem to be a pretty good match, sandy yellow in the sand, deep burnt umber on the forest floor, grey and dull on concrete, and beautiful shades of autumn on autumn leaves. Since I’ve yet to do an experiment, I’m only making the assumption by association, but really really wonder…
And now, of course, some art. Unrelated, although I might mention, the spring peeper is highly likely to be turned into a new linocut.
Benthic Fish Fantasy, 9”x6” on Stonehenge paper, gelatin and relief print with linoleum and found objects.
This print is the first of my new series of benthic fish (fantasy). While there are very real, and very weird benthic fish (deep sea dwellers) with glow in the dark lures dangling from their heads, and wicked teeth, and fragile bodies, my linocuts are not scientific diagrams: they are fully imaginary.  I still have more pencil designs waiting to be carved, but as the first three took a total four hours of carving time, I gave the first three a test run.  There will of course, be more.
And if you want to know what real benthic fish look like, Wikipedia on Benthic Fish , and more weird but very real sea creatures: the anglerfish (<—you’ll see why mine are not quite so imaginary after all)


Michelle Basic Hendry said...

Very cool stuff. I love the sound of spring peepers. If you can get close enough, they are deafening. My ears ring for ages after!

The lino is really neat too.... I love how those guys seem to carry their own flashlight.... LOL!

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Michelle: I love them in the spring when they are so loud. It's mesmerizing. Actually seeing them, though, is a real treat.
And about the fish, my fantasy fish don't hold a candle to the weirdness that is actually out there cruising the deep sea.

Jennifer Rose said...

i love the fish :D very nice fantasy feel to it!

lol! I would have burst into laughter seeing the 2 of you taking photos like that :p they are pretty well hidden, i would have been scared of accidentally stepping on one :/

Jenny B. said...

Extraordinary! I tend to think about spring peepers only in the spring--I'm glad to know they are just as present in the autumn. The matching of color to surroundings reminds me of brook trout, which can be very dark in color if they live in a shady stream.

kaslkaos said...

Jennifer, I think they were frozen with fear while we were lunching, and then burst into action when we started to move. They are tiny, but they move fast.
Jenny, this is the 1st time EVER that I've had the chance to photograph a peeper, so yep, we were pretty excited. I didn't know about the brook trout, as I never get such a good look at them. They are in the creeks now though and very pretty.

Chrissy said...

I just love how that little frog blends in :) Great photo's, how lovely to get the opportunity :D The fish is great and as you say, there is nother more weird than nature itself.

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Chrissy. Everytime I look at these pics I'm danged sure the peepers can change colour.

kaslkaos said...

The magic of google if you ask the right question: here's some scientific stuff on colour changes in spring peepers.


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