Green greeting

green treefrog Hyla cinerea on scouring rush Equisetum hyemale
More stuff will be along soon, but right now I just wanted to post this one. From a short outing yesterday to the NC Botanical Garden while the weather was nice, this is the first green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) that I’ve seen this year, pretty early as far as I’m concerned. It is perched upon a clump of scouring rushes (Equisetum hyemale) growing in a small pond liner. From what I’ve just heard about that plant, I may have to come back later and talk about it some more when I have further info; right now I can say it’s a goal of mine to have this growing in my local pond.

The slightly surreal effect was partially intentional, and partially unavoidable for this particular angle on the frog – it comes from shooting through a very narrow gap in the rushes, so most of the hazy effect seen is caused by stems close to the camera and so far out of focus that they provide only a green cloudiness (see here for a detailed explanation of how it occurs.) The blue in the background, however, is sky being reflected from the surface of the pond.

It’s not hard to use this creatively in photos, but it does take the right conditions, and it’s usually better to have a sharp focal point to anchor the image, in this case the frog, but in this case it’s a flower blossom (or two.) Thus it’s important to have a gap where a clear view is possible, and of course cooperative light; if it’s much brighter on your defocused portions than on your focused subject, the brightness of the ‘haze’ might overpower the image.

Or you can just drink in the scene without dissecting it – that works, too, especially if you find the various green hues as pleasing as I do. For scale, the rush that the frog is clinging to is about the diameter of a pencil – not a big guy at all.