Bullfrog: “Perhaps if I hold very, very still… breeep!”
Though obvious in these pictures, quite a few animals can become invisible by matching their environment to their color. A bullfrog, waiting for prey to come a bit too close or for his own protection against predators, may sit quietly in duckweed. If the frog holds still enough, perhaps he will be overlooked and gain a meal or avoid becoming one. The green dragonfly, also a predator, has the same advantages if it alights among green plant leaves. The dragonfly, by the way, was much harder to spot than the frog! These animals were spotted at the Columbia Reservation of the Lorain County Metroparks hiding in plain sight.
Dragonfly: “Perhaps if I hold very, very still…. buzzzzzip!”
American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) — Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis) female.
It is Labor Day. We awoke to chilly temperatures and skies that turned from partly cloudy to overcast as we ate breakfast. She Who Must Be Obeyed suggested we check out the Cleveland Metroparks’ Lake-to-Lake Trail. The trail, which we had never visited, runs along the eastern edge of the Berea area and into Middleburg Heights.
One of the uniquely decorated wooden deck bridges on the Lake-to-Lake Trail, this one features metal cutouts of dragonflies, each identified with a plaque mounted to its supporting post.
We were delighted with the experience, though both a bit sore upon return. Putting in a total of 5.4 miles, we covered most of the trail from Lake Isaac north to Lake Abram and back with a very pleasant stop at an Aladdin’s Eatery (a lovely advantage of suburban trail hiking) for lunch.
We stopped many times along the way to photograph plants, flowers, and wildlife including a very cooperative Green Frog and red dragonfly (Ruby Meadowhawk?), residents of a tiny pond area. The trail is mostly asphalt paved with an extensive system of wooden boardwalks and bridges to carry visitors over wet areas.
A Green Frog watches warily but allowed surprisingly close encounters by two photographers and their macro-focusing cameras.
It was exciting and reassuring to see, from the trail, large expanses of marsh habitat undeveloped and preserved as natural areas in suburban Cleveland. And what a marvelous resource for area residents. Like us!
A red dragonfly (possibly a Ruby Meadowhawk) sat on a bleached wood railing as if posing for its portrait. The beautiful insect allowed two of us to make close approaches with cameras before flitting off into the reeds of a nearby wetland.