Travelogues

Greetings From Biggest Frog, USA

Well in my life I’ve spent a substantial amount of time in the woods, particularly around lakes in Ohio as a kid, and I’ve never seen a frog this size. It’s hard to tell the scale from the picture, but it was as big as a cornish hen you’d find in the supermarket.
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Yes campers, it’s another trip out to New Jersey’s Great Swamp, where the raised boardwalk trails are like a trip to the zoo. Look closely and there’s a huge array of wildlife to be seen. Here are a couple of frolicking turtles.
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A green frog, almost like a cliche, on a lily pad.
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Here’s another picture of lily pads, just because I like the way it turned out.
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And the mean northern water snake.
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If the water snake isn’t nasty enough, here’s a snapping turtle. It’s a little hard to see — as it was in real life — but its shell was about the size of an LP record, and it’s neck was probably three inches in diameter. Its head is visible bottom-center.
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Here’s a distant red-bellied woodpecker. A long lens is nice, this was about 200 yards away. A longer lens would have been better, but even so, I couldn’t see at all what it was until after I got home and viewed the picture on-screen.
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We’d just gone through a pretty dry period here in New Jersey, and a lot of the areas that are usually semi-submerged were just mud flats. Still, in fall, life is in a constant state of turnover, decay and rebirth. Large colonies of these mushrooms were everywhere.
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Moss and lichens busily consumed dead logs.
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Here’s a tremendous crop of the tasty laetiporus sulphureus. Pity that collecting samples is, um, frowned upon.
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Fall is coming early out there, so I’ll have to be sure to make another few trips while the leaves are changing. This is an area far off the beaten track, up a one-lane dirt road.
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Tom

Tom McGee has been building web sites since 1995, and blogging here since 2006. Currently a senior developer at Seton Hall University, he’s also a freelance web programmer and musician. Contact him if you have the need for a blog, web site, redesign or custom programming!

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