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Old Mar 7, 2014, 8:56 PM   #1
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Default Two Spring Signs

It's been a long cold winter for many of us, so it sure is good to see a few signs that spring is approaching. Here in the East Tennessee hills, one of our first springtime signs is the mating call of the Chorus Frogs. As soon as we get a few sunny days with temperatures above 45 F, we begin to hear hundreds of tiny amphibian voices.
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Old Mar 7, 2014, 8:58 PM   #2
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Upland Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris feriarum) are tiny (usually less than one inch long) dark frogs that breed in temporary pools (notice the maple seed behind frog#2 for scale). Their fast-growing tadpoles only need about a month or two to mature, unlike many larger frog species that might take a year or more to grow up. So temporary pools keep Chorus Frog tadpoles safe from the those larger, more aggressive tadpoles.
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Old Mar 7, 2014, 9:00 PM   #3
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And it is at these temporary pools that we are now hearing the frog chorus! Each frog sounds a bit like running your fingernail against the teeth of a comb. Each voice is a male frog, calling in the females.
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Old Mar 7, 2014, 9:01 PM   #4
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The trick to photographing these little guys is the approach slowly, moving closer only when they are singing, pausing when they pause, and, most of all, to be prepared to get thoroughly soaked crawling on hands and knees across the shallow muddy water! (What a great excuse for playing in the mud!)
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Old Mar 7, 2014, 9:02 PM   #5
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And here's one more early spring sign from our East Tennessee hills. One of our earliest wildflowers has begun to bloom!

Hepatica is named for the liver-like leaves (reddish brown and three-lobed). Flowers come in delicate shades of pinkish, purplish and bluish as well as white.
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Old Mar 7, 2014, 9:03 PM   #6
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Looking forward to spotting more spring signs soon, and hoping your season is progressing well. Thanks for any comments & critique!
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Old Mar 8, 2014, 6:24 AM   #7
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excellent set !
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Old Mar 10, 2014, 9:06 AM   #8
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Glad to see signs of spring, My rent is running out and I will have to head north soon. Nice series Mole, your shots remind me to get closer to nature, I'll need to get my new DA 50 out and play some soon.
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Old Mar 25, 2014, 8:50 PM   #9
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Wanaclick - Thanks so much!

Hans - Will look forward to seeing your great work with the new lens!
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