16 April, 2013        Froggie

I’ve never based (to my recollection) an entire blog post on one picture. But I got a nice shot yesterday and at least to me it was worth going on a blog post. I was hiking with a buddy at Bryan Park and this American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) was sitting still on a log in the water. Not jumping out of our way, I think because the air was cool and the water too and he was in no hurry to leave. I think that’s a male. Because (as I learned on wikipedia) his tympanum (sort of like an eardrum) is a little larger than his eyes. But don’t bet your house on that.

If you take the lens cap off your camera and press the button as often as I do, you’re bound to get at least a picture or two that you really enjoy. This is one of those pictures:

What a handsome bullfrog

What a handsome bullfrog

And as Evie pointed out, lots of things make me think of songs. This picture called to mind a 1995 song called (unsurprisingly) Froggie by an alternative band called The Presidents of the United States of America. The video is cheerful and silly and fun and G-rated and you’ll use up three minutes and nineteen precious seconds of your life watching it but it’s time well spent: Froggie

A couple of things make photography easier this time of year. Better light makes better photographs – period – and the light is really getting gorgeous. Also the leaves are off the trees so things are much brighter. And at least here in Richmond there are flowers everywhere. As pointed out in my previous post. More flowers on this post, since I don’t get tired of them. I hope you don’t either. My blog host ( sends me information about searches that send people to my blog. I got a lot of searches last year on “inchworms.” But I also get an inordinate (in my view) number of searches on the phrase “white lilacs” which surprises me. My mother loves white lilacs and so do I so I include them anyway. My purple lilacs are almost (but not quite) fully in bloom. The white ones are running a little behind, either because they’re in a little more shade or maybe just a different variety. Evelyn perfumed our house with hyacinths from the yard last week; this week the lilacs are coming in. Here is a purple lilac:

April beauty

April beauty

And here is the beginning of a white lilac:

Delicious smelling and beautiful white lilac

Delicious smelling and beautiful white lilac

More later, when they’re in full bloom.

I also took a nice picture of a somewhat new moon on April 13. I’ve perhaps mentioned I have an app called “MoonPhase” that provides interesting information about what the moon is doing at any given time. If you’re unaware, a lunar cycle lasts just about 29.5 days. That’s from one new moon (you can’t see it) to the next. The full moon occurs around half way through the cycle, or at a little over 14 days. This moon was 3 days and 15 hours old, approximately 12% full:

Three day old moon. Fun picture. You can tell it's "waxing" or growing because it's light on the right side.

Three day old moon. Fun picture. You can tell it’s “waxing” or growing because it’s light on the right side.

I should have put all these together. But the same day I took the picture of the bullfrog at Bryan Park I got this average picture of a mockingbird:

Somewhat inscrutable. I don't think he's irate. Just gazing.

Somewhat inscrutable. I don’t think he’s irate. Just gazing.

As well as this dogwood. Redbuds and red maples and dogwoods are tied for my favorite tree:

A graceful dogwood at Bryan Park. "Graceful" may be one word too many before "dogwood" - they're all graceful.

A graceful dogwood at Bryan Park. “Graceful” may be one word too many before “dogwood” – they’re all graceful.

The fourth picture I took on Monday (after the frog, the mockingbird and the dogwood) was this mourning dove standing on a little sandbar in the creek. Like many birds, mourning doves use grit in their digestive system to help break down the fiber in the seeds they eat. This mourning dove I’m sure was wetting his or her whistle and getting some sand:

Mourning dove observing.

Mourning dove observing.

I have a couple more pictures to round out this post, including one more flower, this cheerful buttercup:

A bright buttercup. I believe that's the only kind of buttercup.

A bright buttercup. I believe that’s the only kind of buttercup.

And this somewhat unusual picture from the river last week. A relatively small rock in the middle of the river with a relatively large cormorant and two relatively large turtles. It looks like all three are waiting for something. Or listening to or looking at the same thing. Odd:

Attentive reptiles and bird

Attentive reptiles and bird

Anyway, enjoy and have a great day. Hopefully another post up before long. All best,

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
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12 Responses to Froggie

  1. Laurie Wilner Jobson says:

    that froggie picture is amazing and incredibly professional! you said your camera was not amazing but your hand eye coordination is!!! thank you ! laurie

    • Thanks Laurie! My camera really is NOT professional – can’t even change lenses. I don’t think my hand eye coordination is great either. I just spend a LOT of time outdoors – in large part as a result of Camp! Thanks for the note and have a great day,


  2. kathy says:

    Awesome pictures!!! Colin and I once had a mourning dove land on our bird feeder and crashed it to the ground based on the weight of the dove. We were bird watchers and had so much fun doing just that!

    • Hi Kathy!
      Great to hear from you! I’m guessing there are plenty of mourning doves in FL too. But if one landed on my bird feeder I think it too would collapse. Although the squirrels that raid it on a regular basis don’t seem to have any problem…

      Thanks for the note and have a great day,


  3. Clare T says:

    how delightful to pull up your blog and see “my guardian angel”, the mockingbird!

    National Geographic has nothing on “James River Geographic” – as everyone has said – these photos are amazing – but the best part is that you share them with us – eternally grateful.

    • Hi Clare!
      That mockingbird picture was perfect timing, we’d just spoken about that yesterday. And I took it Monday afternoon at Bryan Park! I’d forgotten the image when we were talking. I’ve got plenty of mockingbirds around my house too, I can hear them singing as I type. I’ll try to get some more images.

      Have a great day and I’ll see you at the river soon,


  4. says:


    • Hi Liz!
      Glad we (presumably) got the email glitch figured out. And you finally got to see the frog! I’m particularly happy with the way that image worked out. Thanks for the note and have a great day,


  5. evzakyoga says:

    The next time you visit Turner Sculpturw, look at Dave’s bullfrog. That photo is stunning in its clarity and stillness. Getting some lilacs inside is a good idea, for sure! Fun AND beautiful post.

  6. Hi Evie!
    And thanks for the note! I would love to see what Dave’s bullfrog sculpture looks like. I got lucky on that bullfrog picture, he and I and my buddy were all in the right place at the right time. And yes, we can start bringing some lilacs in today – they’re flourishing. Have a great day and I’ll see you this afternoon,


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