Tag Archives: Frogs

Lookin for love in all the moist places

Order: Anura

I have been greeted in the evenings and early mornings by the songs of frogs. The need to breed is driving them all together to the marshy areas, wetlands, storm sewers and other places there is water. Most of the time they will return to the spawning grounds they hopped out of, announcing their presence to possible mates with their music. I have been helping them do so safely and productively for almost 20 years.

Pacific Tree Frog, typical of the ones I see near my home. They are quite small when they first appear (about the size of my thumbnail) and grow to be about the size of my thumb if they live long enough.

Near my home are many marginal and well established wetlands. These include the aforementioned storm drains, ditches (marginal), seasonal ponds (marginal), well established ponds and marsh wetlands (especially in the area around Johnson Creek and the adjacent areas). The frogs I hear and see are mostly tree frogs (family: Hylidae) including Pacific Tree Frogs (Hyla Regilla) and Western Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris Triseriata). Sometimes there are bullfrogs but these are invasive, non-indigenous and tend to eat their smaller cousins.

We have had a wet couple of weeks and my assessment of spawning grounds is that even the marginal areas are quite wet. Many frog eggs, many tadpoles. One will often see a fair amount of algae along with frog eggs and the tadpoles tend to snack on this while they develop. When I scoop up tadpoles from a drying marginal habitat I usually get plenty of algae along with them. You can also feed them flake fish food (this will also encourage algae growth).

Western Chorus Frogs look like this as hatchlings

Another Western Chorus Frog

Gratuitous goose honking, unrelated to frogs:

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Filed under Frogs, Nature, tadpoles

It’s Early

Willamette Valley

4.25.2012

Coming into the end of April, amphibians have plenty of water. It hasn’t been the wettest of winters in NW Oregon but there is plenty of healthy habitat for now. Some egg laying was observed in early April (some in March as well but there was a couple killing frosts, even snow, in March).

Lots of peeping, croaking all around the town- wherever there is a seasonal or year-round wetland. Froggies lookin’ for love.

It’s still too early to tell how the marginal habitats will fare. More frogs will be coming.

Don’t tease the frog

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Filed under Frogs, Nature, pictures

T’is the season

for amphibious spawning in the Northern Hemisphere.

Frogs have been singing sweet songs of romance all spring. Toads, newts and the like have been looking for love in all the wet places. Now is the time to inspect the spawning grounds and see how they are doing.

You may know that globally amphibian populations have been in decline for many years. There are two main causes identified so far: habitat loss and fungal infections (such as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or Bd). Recently a study in central America has found a peculiar statistic: habitats that are disturbed but functional are less likely to have populations affected by infection. This makes habitat near cities and marginal wetlands all the more important.

So, annually, I check for habitat functionality near where I live, in southeast Portland, Oregon. In the inner part of town the wetlands, springs and creeks are underground but out where I live there are many places where frogs and their cousins have been  (along with some fish) making babies.

Less than a mile from my home are several excellent locations for frog spawning. Powell Butte, Mount Scott, Johnson Creek (especially the newly rehabilitated habitat areas), the Springwater Corridor and, less than 10 blocks away, the Beggar’s Tick Natural Area.

Many years the summer heats up fast and if there hasn’t been enough spring rain I find the marginal habitats along the edges of these spaces dry up before tadpoles can mature. Not that it does much good, but when I see this happening I’ll scoop a few hundred polliwogs out of the muck and stick them in an outdoor aquarium. I feed them flake fish food until they can get out of the tank on their own and eat insects.

The back legs pop out first- almost literally. It’s like one day they are little spermish critters and the next they have legs. The tails shrink, the mouths grow wide and soon the front legs appear. Often within a couple days time the whole lot will just up and climb out to the world. I have chronicled this process here before many times.

This year, as last, I am happy to report healthy habitats, very wet wetlands and a thriving population of tadpoles with plenty of water to keep them until they are ready to hop along into the green spaces. Maybe one will come to your garden.

I walked through Beggar’s Tick today- it looks really good, very wet, seasonal ponds are full. Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to check along the northeastern edge of Sauvie Island where, with the Columbia River 15 feet above flood stage, the wetlands are very healthy. I surmise that all along the nearby rivers the sloughs, estuaries and ponds are happy, healthy and wet.

Excellent year for frogs and their fellow-travelers!

Below pictures are big; click for full size.

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Filed under Frogs, Nature, pictures, tadpoles

Radio Night, Frog Spawn Days

Getting the announcement part out of the way, tonight is Mad Liberation by Moonlight at 1 a.m. PST on KBOO, 90.7 FM in Portland, Oregon. Streamed on the web at http://www.kboo.fm/. It’s a call in show, blah blah blah, call in at 503-231-8187 to be on the radio, read other posts about it here. Archived shows are found on the MLBM tab above.

Always remember- click pics for full size; most are really big.

West on the Springwater Corridor trail near my home- On the left (south side) is a marsh. On the right (north) are a series of ditches that collect water and keep it for a bit until mid June or so. This is one of several places I monitor for amphibian eggs and relative potential for supporting polliwogs through their transformations.

Marsh on south side of Springwater Corridor

Picture with hard-to-see newt tadpoles as of last week

The marshy area stays pretty moist and frogs that spawn there can expect their babies to grow up unless they’re eaten by birds or some such. The ditchy area is iffy. Eggs there will hatch- the ditch pools will fill with tadpoles- but the puddles will mostly dry up before the frogs can mature.

Lots of froggy love goin on- look at all that slimy frog spawn!

The marshy area also has a healthy population of newts- gilled newts that look like this as they are changing:

The frogs I’m talking about are basic pacific tree frogs. They are brown to green ion color and start out very small and stay just a bit bigger. The newly transformed froglings will be about the size of your thumbnail. Or smaller. Fully grown, 1 or 2 years old they may be the size of your thumb. This presupposes that they survive tadpole-hood.

Babies look like this when they mature:

Hey little fella/ gal/ whatever you are

More frog eggs

The ditch puddles are still quite moist. Too wet and muddy around the edges for me to get close enough for you to see the tadpoles. But they are there- here’s a picture I took last year of  one I brought home to mature:

Newts also spawn in these ditches and most don’t survive. I’ll get some of them, too. With the newts, I have to take them back out to a place like the marsh when they’re ready.

Almost ready to leave the tank (last year)

The frogs just hop out into the world. Usually 90% of them will take off in one day from the tank on my back porch.

More spawn

My annual hobby/ mission involves finding places like this that serve as marginal habitat- attractive to frogs in love (blush) but generally not capable of sustaining their babies. I find several spots near home. Powell Butte is one of my favorites but the marginal ditch I find them is messed up this year due to construction of an underground water reservoir.

This is a picture from Powell Butte, pre-reservoir.

Powell Butte from SPACE!

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Filed under Frogs, Mad Radio, Nature, pictures, tadpoles

Monday May I (Short-Sweet)

This will be a mixture today- First, I want to call attention to some of my favorite mental health blogs.

Bi-polar Blast is now called Beyond Meds (and has been for a long time, I just didn’t get around to changing it in the blogroll). Today there is a video of Pema Chodron. Check it out here.

Ron Unger’s blog, Recovery from Schizophrenia, is a veritable fount of information, inspiration and sense. Today he’s talking about an article titled “A Fine Madness. If you poke around, though, you’ll find many wonderful things on his blog. He writes with such clarity and insight- you’ll want to read all of his entries on everything from cognitive therapy for psychosis to reducing medications to redefining Recovery. To see what he’s up to today click here.

Furious Seasons has been quiet lately but you can still read back on some great topics. Also, they have an excellent sampling of links to mental health blogs. That’s where I go when I want to find gems like this or like this.

Off the wall but not out of his mind, my pal Rich is the host of Kill Ugly Radio. Stop by and have a listen. You won’t regret it, most likely. Rich also is the guy who records my radio show and sends it to me so I can archive it here. Thank, Rich.

On the blogroll where it says “Simply the best there is”, what you’ll really find is The Icarus Project. The reason is because they are, simply, the best. Mad forums, mad radio, mad art, mad guides to living. Everything you want. Just do it.

Now for something completely different- it’s time to start scouting for frog spawning areas in my neck of the woods. They’ve been croaking up a storm around my house the last few weeks. It’s been a mostly dry spring but there’s still been plenty of rain to get things going.

Now is the time to find those puddles, ditches and wet spots that are marginal for tadpole survival. Typically there will be several spots near my home where frogs will spawn but that tend to dry up before most of the little guys can transform.

I’m going to check around and get back to you. I’ll bring back some pictures of the places I’m talking about. Then, before the second week of June, I’ll go out and rescue as many of the little fellers as I can. They’ll finish growing legs in the tank on my back porch and hop out into the world when they’re ready.

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Filed under CS/X movement, Free Music, Frogs, Mad Radio, mp3, pictures, wellness and systems change

News Roundup Plus+

I have been so completely swamped by events and work so far this decade that it has been difficult to keep y’ll updated, inspired or entertained. So, today I resolve to correct this problem. At least a little bit.

working backwards:

March 19-26, Romero Legacy Delegation to El Salvador

March 24, 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Monseñor Oscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador, on the orders of a graduate of the School of the Americas. SOA Watch and Father Roy Bourgeous will be leading a delegation to El Salvador to commemorate this individual who died fighting for the rights of the common folk in that country.

If you are interested in learning more about Oscar Romero and go here:

http://soaw.org/docs/esdelegation.pdf

More blogging on Bishop Romero: http://annaarcosdiary.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/archbishop-romeros-murder/

For even more about Romero:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Óscar_Romero or

http://www.silk.net/RelEd/romero.htm

Friday night is MLBM- Mad Radio

And we have especially good reasons to be mad this week. Portland police have shown how they handle people in crisis once again. This week, police killed a man who was suicidal following the death of his brother that same day.

News excerpt:

Police said Frashour shot and killed Aaron Marcell Campbell only after Campbell began making statements to officers that they were going to have to shoot him and behaved in a threatening manner.

According to a news release, Campbell had told a friend that he wanted to commit suicide by having the police shoot him.

The shooting followed by less than 12 hours the death of Campell’s brother, Timothy Douglass, who succumbed to heart failure at an area hospital.

Campbell’s mother, Marva Campbell, said Campbell was “distraught” about his brother’s death.

The mother was distraught. I’d think so after losing 2 children in one day. What else did the police say about this?

Police said the man came out after 6 p.m. and initially cooperated. But they said Campbell then stopped complying and told officers would have to shoot him. Wheat said an officer first fired beanbag rounds but when Campbell “acted threateningly,” Frashour shot him with an AR-15 rifle.

For the police information release, you can go here.

As long as we’re on my home town, Shock (Electro Convulsive Therapy, ECT) is alive and well in Portland, Oregon. At least we are not alone.

It’s the new/ old thing.

In modern ECT, the patient is sedated and paralyzed. Then an electrical charge is delivered through the scalp, inducing a seizure. Because of the muscle-relaxing drugs, the convulsion is barely observable.


Judi Chamberin dies at age 65

The “grandmother of mental health consumer advocacy passed away after a long battle with a chronic illness. Judi reported on her condition and struggle in her blog, Life as a Hospice Patient.


Duh

Metabolic risks remain largely unmonitored in Medicaid patients taking
antipsychotics* January 4th, 2010 in Medicine & Health / Medications


*Despite government warnings and professional recommendations about diabetes risks associated with second-generation antipsychotic drugs, fewer than one-third of Medicaid patients who are treated with these medications
undergo tests of blood glucose or lipid levels, according to a report in the
January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives
journals.*

In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began requiring a warning on labels of second-generation antipsychotics-including olanzapine, fluoxetine and risperidone-describing an increased risk for high blood sugar and diabetes, according to background information in the article. The warning
stated that glucose levels should be monitored in patients with diabetes, at
risk for the disease or with symptoms of high blood glucose. At the same
time, the American Diabetes Association and American Psychiatric Association published a consensus statement describing the metabolic risks associated with second-generation antipsychotics and specifying a monitoring protocol for all patients receiving these medications.

Elaine H. Morrato, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., of the University of Colorado Denver,
and colleagues studied laboratory claims data from the Medicaid population
of three states (California, Missouri and Oregon) between 2002 and 2005.
Metabolic testing (testing of blood glucose and lipid levels) rates were
compared between a group of 109,451 patients receiving second-generation
antipsychotics and a control group of 203,527 who began taking albuterol (an
asthma drug) but not an antipsychotic. Rates were also compared before and
after the FDA warning.

Initial testing rates for patients treated with second-generation
antipsychotics were low-27 percent underwent glucose testing and 10 percent underwent lipid testing. The FDA warning was not associated with any
increase in glucose testing and only a marginal increase in lipid testing
rates (1.7 percent). “Testing rates and trends in second-generation
antipsychotic-treated patients were not different from background rates
observed in the albuterol control group,” the authors write.

New prescriptions of olanzapine, which carries a higher metabolic risk,
declined during the warning period. Prescriptions of the lower-risk drug
aripiprazole increased, but this may also be attributable to the elimination
of prior authorization for the drug in California during the same timeframe.

“Although this retrospective study was not able to identify or quantify
reasons why laboratory screening did not increase after the FDA warnings,
whereas prescribing practices did change, we might speculate on some
possible explanations,” the authors write. Switching to lower-risk drugs or
avoiding drug treatment altogether may be simpler than the initiation of new
screening procedures. In addition, although surveys have shown that
psychiatrists are aware of the metabolic risk factors of these drugs,
primary care providers who would generally order the necessary laboratory
tests may not be.

“More effort is needed to ensure that patients who receive second-generation
antipsychotic drugs are screened for diabetes and dyslipidemia and monitored for potential adverse drug effects, beginning with baseline testing of serum glucose and lipids, so that patients can receive appropriate preventive care and treatment,” the authors conclude.

*More information:* Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67[1]:17-24.


MLBM

Did I happen to mention that Friday night, tomorrow, 2/5/10 at 1 am (I know that this is technically Saturday the 6th but- hey, give me a break, it’s only radio, right?)?

As always, we’ll be on KBOO, 90.7 FM in Portland or streamed on the web at kboo.fm.  You can join the conversation- Call 503-231-8187 between 1 and 2 am Friday night.

You can also find our old shows (at least for the past year or so) by clicking the MLBM tab above.

Another thing you can find on Moonsoup today, if you haven’t had time to check out the secret pages, is this memorial to those of us with mental illness diagnosis who have died too young. Go here.

Now for Something Completely Different

Hare Rama Hare Krishna – 05 – Dance Music – Part 1

Hare Rama Hare Krishna – 09 – Dance Music – Part 2

Krishnamurti + David Bohm – The Future of Humananity

Bird Songs on Bear Creek – Relaxation Meditation – 47 min

Bye for now, happy new year and such.

(really big space picture below, click for full size- it’s the Subaru observatory (ESA) deep field view of the “Jewel Box”.

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Filed under CS/X movement, Free Audio Books, Free Music, Mad Radio, Mental Hell Treatment, mp3, Music, sound bite, wellness and systems change

Some pictures

Message from the Department of Redundancy Department: Most pictures are bigger than they appear. Click for full size; also, some may need a similar prod to animate, should they be so inclined.

Below:  These long, crazy-looking clouds can grow to be 600 miles long and can move at up to 35 miles per hour, causing problems for aircraft even on windless days. Known as Morning Glory clouds, they appear every fall over Burketown, Queensland, Australia, a remote town with fewer than 200 residents.

morninggloryclouds

Pictures fro my mom’s apartment, celebrating her 88th birthday on 8/8 (click for full size):

8-8-88-late

Bad scans of a couple pages of my older son’s “guest artwork” on a webcomic Accursed Dragons:

whatdrewdrew

Pictures from a cemetary near my work (click it- it goes left to right):

storiesinstone

Other pictures:

missing-bike-no-reward

(Hibernating Doormice)

dormice hibernate

(Auto focus)

Payback is a bitch

(Zappa)

zappa

Miscellaneous and animated:

[cute overload] surely a repost but please don't kill me if it is

[ani] cannonball fail

[ani]that_magic_moment

[ani] Double front flip on BMX

Agalychnis%20callidryasRed-eyedTreeFrog

BlueTreeFrog

tree-frog-amazon

White_lipped_tree_frog

It's not the heat

saturn-titan

(Juvenile Pacific Tree Frog- the kind I grow)

PacificTreeFrogJuv

(Ion Trap- experiment in Quantum Processing)

ion-trap-quantumprocessing

not_winter

favorite-rmx-rpsts

last for today-

Whats this this thing do

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Filed under animated gif, animation, Family pictures, Frogs, pictures, Science

Frog Spawning Areas

This is the best year I have seen in the past 2 decades for even the most marginal tadpole habitat. Usually there are significant portions of the frog spawning ditches, seasonal ponds etc. that dry up before a large number of tadpoles can fully develop.

Last year was typical. There are some path-side ditches near my home across from a more substantial swampy area. By the second week of June last year these marginal wetlands were drying up. By the end of the third week they were completely dry and many if not most of the tadpoles perished before reaching frog-hood.

This year we have had several rainstorms that dumped a lot of water in the Portland area. When I checked these ditches 2 days ago they had more water in them they they had a week before.

Usually I collect as many tadpoles as I can just before the big “dry-up” and grow them to maturity in a tank outside. When they are ready, they leave. (I use flake fish food to feed them- they don’t eat it but it encourages algae and they eat that.)

This is one year I don’t have to do that. I’ve still collected a few just because I like to watch them grow legs and hop away.

Some of last years pictures. More later.

close-up

they_got_legs

Exodus

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Filed under Frogs, pictures, tadpoles

Pictures Music Frogs

First-
Looking through old photographs-
My wife is undergoing therapy for PTSD to do with my daughter’s suicide over 15 years ago, but still a significant part of our lives. She is determined to find a way to keep the good memories without the horror.
Part of the project involves remembering the good times- and finding ways to replace the awful images with positive ones.
So, I got out the old albums and we’ve been going through them. (Always click for full size.)

Erin and her friend at the wreck of the Peter Iredale,

Oregon Coast, 1992 or so

WreckofthePeterIredale-circa1992-93

Erin Portrait- She was beautiful

erin_portrait-1992

Family sing-along night:

For most of the time our kids were kids we had a Sunday night tradition of singing songs together; each person got to pick a song and we’d end with “Goodnight Irene” (without the depressing lyrics).
Erin usually picked “You are my sunshine”. Julie can’t sing that song or listen to it anymore because it brings her too much pain. (Me, I like the song and it helps me remember the good times.)
The tradition continued with everyone getting ice-cream (in their special bowl)followed by watching the Simpsons on TV.
It’s my favorite of our family traditions- we kept it up until the youngest one was 15 or so- except we still do the ice-cream and Simpsons. These days it’s just Me, Julie and Matt (19). Andrew is down in the SF area (Berkley now I think). I get low carb/ sugar free ice-cream; it tastes like crap but it’s still a treat.

familysingalong-1989

How did this get in there?

sunflower_on_white

Kids together in the backyard

kidstogether-backyard-1991

Erin picks flowers in the “wild” area of our large yard (this was the house the kids grew up in. We lost the house when I lost my mind in 2004- along with my job, my reputation, etc. We lived there for 20 years. I wonder if my wife ever forgave me for getting so sick.  (Foreclosed after my prolonged hospital stay left us bankrupt and unable to make payments. So it goes.)

ErinBackyard1989

Taken at the end of the Falcon Crest trail

from Short Sands Beach on the Oregon Coast

FalconCrestErinDesktop

There are kids growing in the trees! Again, our backyard around 1992

treekids1990ourbackyard

Playing music with Erin, around 1992

PlayingMusicWithErin1992

The last picture I have of my dad, who died of lung cancer/ mesothelioma in 1992. It was caused by asbestos exposure during his 23 years in the Navy as a Gunner’s Mate and Chief Gunner’s Mate. The big artillery was packed in asbestos.

last_picture_of_my_dad

The group shot that was extracted from-

last_pic_mydad-grp

Nawang Khechog- The human Heart is for Kindness:

10 The Human Heart Is for Kindness

Mississippi John Hurt- Nearer My God to Thee

Mississippi John Hurt – Nearer My God To Thee

Cat Stevens (now Yusef Islam)- Trouble

Cat Stevens – Trouble

Along this route (below) are many shallow ditches in which frogs lay their eggs. Most of these dry up before 75% of the tadpoles have reached maturity. My annual tadpole rescue effort is almost ready to begin. The deadline is about June 10th, after the rains stop and the shallow wetlands dry quickly, leaving tens of thousands of immature froglings dried and dead in the baked mud (in this area alone). I only rescue a few hundred a year, let them grow up in a tank on the back deck.

When they’re ready they leave.

STA50145

STA50140

Exodus

bye for now

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Filed under buddhism, Family pictures, Free Music, Frogs, mp3, Music, pictures, tadpoles

It’s getting close to time

For scouting for frog habitat that may be unable to support amphibians to maturity. My annual quest. More later. Rest assured that I will rescure as many tadpoles from annihilation as possible.

frogs

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Filed under Frogs, Tagore