Spot the frog, again

green treefrog Hyla cinerea not hiding very well in Japanese maple tree
Okay, I don’t suppose that one was very difficult at all. Camouflage works a lot better if it’s the same hue as the background…

So let me fill you in on what’s been going on. Aside from being busy with other projects, largely car repairs, I’ve been trying to get to another podcast. But I haven’t been very happy with my audio quality, which adds a bit of time with post-processing, and have been considering other options. One that I stumbled upon was rather intriguing: I had this cheap little audio recorder that I got mostly for notes and sound bites while out in the field, but I didn’t really consider it podcast quality. I had forgotten that I had a little lapel mic for it, and tried it out the other day. To my surprise, the resulting combination produced much better audio that the rig I’d been using, so I figured, Why not? And went ahead and recorded the next episode.

green treefrog Hyla cinerea hiding in downspoutWhat I had also forgotten was that the recorder has a tendency to simply drop out at times, not even producing a gap or silence but just deleting a section of audio (more than a few seconds at a time) without even a telltale click – just this abrupt jump in the sentence to something later on. That’s kind of hard to deal with, requiring re-recording of at least some sections, and if you’ve never attempted this, matching voice quality and intonations can be pretty hard, especially if you suffer from winter sinus issues. Not really an ideal situation. I am still playing with options, so we’ll see where this leads.

It is also getting to the end of the season for much of anything around here, though I may still snag some fall color images within the next few days. Curiously, a selection of green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea) have been hanging around in various locations within the yard, so I do some portraits from time to time just for the sake of it. The one seen here would spend daylight hours in the truncated downspout, the bottom stub that remained after I rerouted the top part into a rainbarrel, while the one at top would switch perches every couple of days. With the temperatures dropping, I expect them to seek their winter hidey-holes soon, but so far it hasn’t happened.

green treefrog Hyla cinerea in Japanese maple
This is the same frog, same location, and same time as the one that opened the post, so if you compare the two images, you might be able to imagine the challenge in positioning that was required for this face-to-face shot – thankfully the Japanese maple isn’t that tall, but it was still a bit awkward. I’d like to think it was worth the effort, though. It’s actually a stack of two separate frames; in one, the eyes were in sharp focus, and in the other, the eyes slightly out but the nostrils in focus, so I just combined the two. This is what can happen shooting at f4 while on tiptoe, holding leaves out of the way of the camera.

green treefrog Hyla cinerea on potted dracaena grass
Close inspection of the coloration pattern has convinced me that this is the same one, even though two had been seen simultaneously in that maple. This time, it’s on a potted dracaena grass that sat on the front steps, the same plant that sported a tiny wet mantis in this post (it shares the pot with a geranium.) The debris it is coated with came from traipsing through the potting soil with perpetually-damp skin to get to this perch. Since this is a night shot, I used the flash rig at f16, providing a slightly different color rendition than the previous shot (under overcast skies) and a better depth of field. Meanwhile, a pair (at least) of darker-colored specimens, such as the last one from this post, has been seen at varying times around the back of the house, where the one in the downspout resides. To say nothing of the five or so green frogs (not treefrogs) that still reside in the backyard pond. If they’re happy, I’m happy.

Anyway, I’ll get the podcast finished eventually, through one method or another. Keep watching this space.