Friday cuteness

Two specimens for you today, both within a couple of meters of the front door – I’m spoiled.

Last night while checking out Walkabout Estates for various nocturnal critters, I came across a diurnal one instead, which made it a lot easier to actually get the shots I was after. This one was camped out on the big Japanese maple right by the door.

juvenile Carolina anole Anolis carolinensis snoozing on Japanese maple tree
Unless you’ve never been here before, like, at all, you know this is a Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis,) and if you’ve been paying attention, you know this is a juvenile. What isn’t apparent is just how small it is, because I’m that fabulous at getting macro photos. So after the initial few frames, I went back inside and fetched one of my handy-dandy paper scales, which I was able to place gently alongside the anole without disturbing it.

juvenile Carolina anole Anolis carolinensis sleeping aon Japanese maple tree alongside millimeter scale
That’s a millimeter scale, with each black or white block being 5 millimeters in length, making the body of the anole (sans tail) less than 30mm, or perhaps just over an inch for all you decrepit Americans so fixed in your ways. [Yeah, I’m American too, but I’m making the effort at least.]

These scales, by the way, I made myself. I sketched them out in a photo editing program using the pixel ruler for proper spacing, then tweaked five different sizes of them about 2-3% different in size. These get appended to the borders of prints that I get made, usually for the business cards, and there are different sizes because printers always enlarge the photos a bit to allow overlap at the edges. So once I get the prints back, I use an accurate ruler to compare and see which version is actually bang-on, and then cut those out and keep them handy for uses such as these. Too often, it’s hard to actually get one into the photo without spooking the subject, but I use them when I can.

Getting my finger in there would be more expressive of course, but it wasn’t going to happen, both because it might have spooked the anole – I doubt I could have held it still close enough and not start moving the leaves – and because I was already in an awkward position leaning in from the edge of the tree, since the anole was roughly in the middle, trying to get close without, again, disturbing the tree and sending my little model here scampering away. It remained asleep right there long after I left, so I was successful.

Then this morning, I noticed a little change out front.

juvenile green treefog Hyla cinerea hiding under wing of lawn ornament
This one also required some careful leaning in, but I wanted the whole ornament in there anyway. Spotted it yet? How about a different angle?

juvenile green treefrog Hyla cinerea sitting adopt lawn ornament
That’s a green treefrog of course (Hyla cinerea,) and another juvenile. The treefrogs have taken over the property, which is no bad thing, and finding them each evening or morning is one of those little challenges, since they tend to keep the same haunt for only a couple of days at best. Not far away, no less than four had all taken shelter in the narrow gap between a downspout and the wall – I’ve often found one there, but not a community. And at the top of the downspout, another peeked out, though that one (if it is indeed the same one, which I can’t prove but will believe anyway like any ‘good’ religious person,) has been using that hiding spot during the day for several weeks. This particular downspout doesn’t actually go anywhere, top or bottom, because I disconnected it to put in a new flexpipe to the rainbarrel, so the frog isn’t using it for the proximity to water or anything. But I’m sure it’s a nice secure location anyway.

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