WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Aug 8th, 2012

Garden Pond Frog Refuge

Aug 8

The unusually dry summer must be driving the frogs to my garden pond. I’ve never seen so many frogs in the pond. I counted 43 in and around the pond and I know I missed more than a few.

garden pond

The stream that feeds my damned pond has been dry for weeks, normally it may dry up for a week or two at most during the summer. Even a light rain is usually enough to keep the stream flowing since it drains 100s of acres on the hillside. The last frog spotted here as long since moved on.

I’m amazed to see the swamp surrounding the property turn dry as a bone. I have never seen it dry before. It’s no wonder the frogs are seeking refuge in my little pond. Small as it may be there’s plenty of room for more. Although one seems determined to become top frog.

frogs in my pond
Draw a circle around the wrist and fingers of the top frog and what do you have?
A peace sign or the hand of a Martian from War of the Worlds?

Another satisfied spa visitor.
frog in pond

A niche for two
2 frogs

Find the 4th frog
4 frogs

Even my fountain workshop pond is crowded with frogs. The high count so far is 27. I won’t make you guess how many frogs are in the photo. There are 18, if ya don’t believe me use the link to see a full sized copy and count them yourself.

18 frogs in the fountain pond
click image for larger size (3407 x 2559) – link opens a new window/tab

This is my favorite photo of the day. I didn’t realize just how many frogs were in it until I opened it up on the computer. It’s hard to see all 8 of them in a reduced copy so I also made a larger version to use as my new desktop wallpaper. Hint – you can’t see much more than an eye of two of them.

The wallpaper version is here: 8 frog wallpaper
8 frogs hiding (size 1920 x 1080)

If you’re wondering, the ground cover around the edge the fountain pond is Gill Over the Ground – Glechoma hedercea. Most people consider it a weed but I like it and think it looks good here.

Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 22nd, 2012

Barking Frog – Illustration by Jack Unruth

Mar 22

Every now and then I’m asked for permission to use one of my photos. This time the request was different. Instead of printing the photo I was asked if one of my photos could be used as a model for an illustration. This is the result:

Barking Frog – Illustration by Jack Unruh
Barking Frog - Illustration by Jack Unruh

I wanted to post the original photo with the drawing but both the illustrator and I deleted the original emails and I don’t have a clue which one it was. I know the photo used must be somewhere on the blog but thanks to my superior organization skills, I can’t find it. It is not in the frog category and I haven’t the patience to browse through 400 some posts. You’re welcome to try locating it.

Coincidentally, the day after I received the image the first frog of the year showed up in my pond. It’s incredibly early, frogs should still be hibernating under the frost line. But not this year, today was the 4th day in a row setting record high temps by double digits.

First Frog – March 21, 2012
first frog - March 21, 2012

OK, back to Jack.
I was given leave to post any illustrations from his web site that I wanted. I selected illustrations that could have been photographs I might have taken.

Jack Unruh – Illustrator

This looks like the woods I’m familiar with.

Some might say this is a mirror image of me.

This reminds me of the Adirondacks. Moose are moving back so it’s not out of the question.

I enjoy fishing so was drawn to Jack’s fish illustrations.
rainbow trout

A regular Snook

A loud mouth snook
loud mouth snook

This looks like a small one I caught.
big fish

I’m pretty sure you’ll find something you’ll like if you visit Jack Unruh – Illustrator

Posted by WiseAcre on Aug 20th, 2010

Canoodling in Canton

Aug 20

Canoe the Little River

The Little River meanders through the southern section of the town of Canton. A car top boat launch by the wooden bridge on County RT 27 just outside the village limits of Canton is a good access point. From there you have the option of paddling upstream through the many oxbows or head downstream where it drains into the Grasse River.

Little River canoe launch   Little River canoe launch

The wooden bridge is just around the bend headed upstream from the boat launch. After taking a photo I turned around and headed to the Grasse River. The trip to the Grasse is short, it took me about 20 minutes of lazy paddling and drifting.

Wooden bridge over the Little River in Canton, NY

Why so slow? Spotting a Great Blue Heron pretty much stopped me in my ‘wake’.

heron on the Little river

These are pretty shy birds that don’t like anyone getting too close. I let the slight breeze push me slowly towards it.

blue heron

I never did get close, thank goodness my camera has an 18x zoom.

Great Blue Heron

Turtles are even more wary of big green logs floating by with a wiseacre on it. I don’t know why they’re so shy. They keep their shells on while sunbathing so it’s not like I’m going to see their naughty bits.

sunbathing turtle

After disturbing the wildlife with my camera it only took a couple of minutes to sight the end of the ‘road’ where the Little River empties into the Grasse River.

Little River empties into the Grasse River

Looking downstream on the Grasse River. The Miner Street bridge is just beyond the houses in the distance.

Grasse River at the mouth of the Little River

It was time to turn around and head back. Here’s a photo from the mouth of the Little river looking upstream.

Little River in Canton, NY

I took my time going back too. There were a number of wildflowers to check out. Pickererweed, Arrowheads, Joe Pye-weed, Turtleheads, Cardinal Flowers, Swamp Milkweed and others lined the shore. Even drifts of Forget-Me-Nots had bloomed where the water had receded. But it was the Bullhead Lily I was after. They had yet to be added to my trophy list and I was determined to get some good photos of them.

Bullhead Lily – Nuphar variegatum

Bullhead Lily

To really appreciate the flower you need a close look and a peek inside the cup like bloom.

Bullhead Lily flower - Nuphar variegatum

A older flower has lost it’s yellow stamen like petals but has attracted a bug collection of some sort.

Nuphar variegatum - Bullhead lily

Anyone find my little excursion on the Little River ribbiting besides this guy? But then he’s sitting in muck ready to eat flies.


I only hope you’ve got better taste than that. If not you’re welcome to join him. Here’s a Google map to help you find the way:

View Larger Map

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