A big fat honkin' mama crayfish and other stuff moving about last night.

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Apr 15, 2023, 8:16:19 PM4/15/23
to Eastern Ontario Natural History listserve
Last evening around 9:30 I donned my shiny new boots, grabbed the big
flashlight and net, and headed down to our little "frog pond". I
usually don't go down there at night because it is not easy access and
don't want to be stumbling around at night, but there is one section
about 30 yards long that I can get to. My quest was to see what the
salamanders were up to. I saw 8 very large spotted salamanders, but
they were in singles, there was no interaction. It is either before
the breeding frenzy or after, I'm thinking if it were after they'd be
leaving the pond, I'm hoping it's before and this is a bunch of males
awaiting for the females to arrive.

The peepers were deafening. I heard one toad and one leopard frog. I
saw 3 green frogs. I don't know if y'all remember me lamenting how
all the green frogs just up and disappeared 3 years ago, especially in
that pond. There used to be hundreds of them, every time you took a
step along the shore you heard *eeep* *eeep* *eeep* and *splash*
*splash* *splash*. Now there are just a handful, although there may
be more, it is yet early. There were a lot of large tadpoles swimming
in the water, every now and then one of the big salamanders would come
up for a gulp of air and send the tadpoles scurrying. There were a
pair of giant water beetles swimming together but too far out for my
net. I also saw 2 giant water bugs swimming alone.

With my ears ringing from the shrill peeps of the peepers I wandered
over to the "boat beach" shoreline to see what could be stirring.
There was an otter cruising about 30 feet out in the bay. Normally
they take off when they see a human but this one hung around, swimming
back and forth and keeping an eye on me. After a few minutes I heard
some squeaks and trills further down the shoreline, I suspect this was
a mother with 2 or more pups. I was tired from working all day and
didn't have the energy to prowl around that part of the shoreline.

I wandered along the shallows and counted 18 green frogs. Yay! Then I
spied a big honkin' crayfish moving about, and managed to scoop it up
with the net. 2 photos are attached. It is a challenge to hold big
flashlight, aim the camera, and try to keep an agitated captured
crayfish still, but I managed, and am attaching 2 pics. When I picked
her up and turned her over I discovered she was carrying a mass of eggs.


Robert Olson

Apr 16, 2023, 11:51:07 PM4/16/23
to natur...@googlegroups.com

Hi Folks,


On Saturday evening at 9 PM Doug Wilson and I spent some time listening to the frogs call at the big swamp 1 km north of North Augusta on County Road 15.

The Spring Peepers were deafening.

There were 2 or 3 American Toads trilling.

There were Chorus Frogs but they were hard to pick out as they were drowned out by the Peepers.

And 1 or 2 Wood Frogs calling.


Tonight (Sunday) there is a Spring Peeper hanging out on my door frame. I have attached a photo.


Have a great day.


Spring Peeper.jpg
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