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Author Archives: Greg
Sometimes you catch crabs on vacation. Sometimes the crabs catch you.
Last month we went on vacation to Myrtle Beach and stayed at a resort right by the ocean. I grew up in a town not far from MB, but regrettably did not take advantage of my proximity to the beach as often as I should have. The resort is located near a marsh inlet which proved to be an excellent source of wildlife! I will write more about the diverse ecosystem in another post, but for now, I want to talk about Crabs!
Earlier this summer we had an unexpected visitor in our backyard. I walked by the back door one morning and glanced out at the frog pond. I noticed a strange shadow in the corner beside the pond and almost dismissed it, until it moved. That was when I realized that the shadow was actually a decent sized snake! The Black Racer blended perfectly into the silhouette of trees cast by the morning sun.
If you have ever raised tadpoles and observed their incredible metamorphosis, then you know just how rewarding it can be. Here is a look at some of the different stages of life from our frog pond this summer.
Our green frogs began to develop quickly and before long, there were many tadpoles with 2 legs and some with 4.
We apologize for the hiatus, the lilburghers and dad have been adjusting to a new schedule and haven’t been able to do much exploring lately. Sometimes there are ways to explore and discover critters without actually going out in the wild. One of our favorite ways to observe the wonders of nature is to visit the National Aviary! Last week I took the twincesses for an impromptu trip while we waited to pick mommy up from work. Adorableness ensued.
The kids and I were coming home on a particularly balmy Friday evening last week and drove into what looked like a scene from a horror movie. As we crossed the bridge into town, we noticed a dense fog ahead. As we got closer, the fog seemed to dance…it was alive and all of a sudden it engulfed our van. What appeared to be a supernatural weather event, was in fact an enormous Mayfly swarm!
After our last visit to Clear Creek State Park, we brought some tadpoles home so the kids could observe their incredible transformation into frogs. My plan is to eventually build a permanent wildlife pond in our backyard so that we can have a nice suitable environment for critters, year round. For now, our tadpoles have set up residence in the kids’ turtle sandbox. It’s not perfect but they seem to like it.
On Memorial Day we decided to take the kids and join our friends for a day of fun at Clear Creek State Park. Of course the kids and I couldn’t pass up a chance to discover some cool critters, so we brought our nets and buckets along. I have to say, this was one of my favorite outings yet!
Snakes are some of the most misunderstood and mistreated animals in the world. I think it is safe to say that when most people are asked what animal they are afraid of, snakes are at the top of the list. This is unfortunate considering the ratio of venomous to nonvenomous snakes the average human will encounter in their life.
*DISCLAIMER* I was recently made aware that catching, handling, or possessing reptiles and amphibians in Pennsylvania without a fishing license is considered unlawful; therefore I will not be taking the kids on any more outings until I can purchase the required documentation. We respect the law here at ‘lil Burghers, however posts written about previous outings will still be published, as this knowledge was not yet made clear to me. I learned a valuable lesson, and since growing up in South Carolina, to my knowledge you did not need a license to catch frogs and snakes, especially for the purpose of study and release, this is all news to me.
Last weekend, Evan and I camped out at Northmoreland Park with his Royal Rangers outpost. One of our Saturday activities was going down to the lake to fish. As soon as we got close to the water we spotted a snake swimming by the bank. While everyone else got started fishing, I stalked the Northern Water Snake from the shore, determined to catch it to show the kids. After a few misses, i thought I’d lost him, so I went to check on Evan. All of a sudden the serpent popped it’s head out of the water right in front of us. I got down on the ground and started to army crawl towards it as it neared the bank. When it’s head ducked around a curve in the bank, I made my move, grabbing its tail and hoisting it to shore. As I worked to corral the reptile it began striking at me and a crowd began to gather.