Call of Survival

Walking along the path I heard a croaking sound, a frog… I looked for at least 5 minutes going up and down the path trying to find where this frog was.

Looking more and more, focusing on the croaking sound, I noticed glistening within the grasses.

Southern Leopard Frog trying to escape from the Peninsula Ribbon Snake

It was a call of survival. The frog had both front arms out for leverage to make it more difficult for the snake from swallowing it, the frog was fighting for its life. The snake was in much need of food to survive through the Florida winter season. It was difficult to watch, but this is nature, this is the survival of the wild, naturally. The fate of the Southern Leopard Frog is unknown.

About the Peninsula Ribbon Snake, a threatened state species

Peninsula Ribbon Snake
Peninsula Ribbon Snake

-Habitat:   Generally near water, including mangroves and spartina (is a perennial deciduous grass which is found in intertidal wetlands, especially estuarine salt marshes )marsh as well as freshwater depressions and ditches.
-Florida Distribution:   The state-protected Lower Keys population is known from No Name, Big Pine, Middle Torch, Cudjoe, and Upper Sugarloaf keys.
-Range-wide Distribution:   T. sauritus, the eastern ribbon snake, inhabits non-mountainous areas throughout the eastern U.S.  The peninsula ribbon snake, T. s. sackenii, ranges from southeastern South Carolina through Georgia and the Florida peninsula to the Keys.
-Conservation Status:   Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge protects some habitat, but much habitat is threatened by development and drainage.
-Protection and Management:   Protect all Lower Keys wetland habitats, from drainage, pollution, and disturbance by surrounding them with broad, terrestrial buffers.  Protect underground freshwater lens from overconsumption, which would lead to saltwater intrusion.



Southern Leopard Frog

I am used to seeing Bullfrogs, and tree frogs, so this is the first Southern Leopard Frog I was able to photograph.


Banded Water Snake

While at Chinsegut WEA with a friend… we ventured out to take some photos of some bullfrogs and came across this Florida Banded Water Snake.

Florida Banded Water Snake 2.jpg
Florida Banded Water Snake | Photo by Alice Mary Herden | October 14

The Florida Banded Water Snake is a non-venomous snake and solely relies on freshwater habitats and with all the rain last month this snake has a plentiful food source of bullfrogs.

Bullfrog | Photo by Alice Mary Herden | October 14

Just because this snake is harmless, it still can bite…. so snap your photos from a distance and let it be.


American Bullfrog

We have always heard them during our travels at Chassahowitzka WMA, but never seemed to have been able to photograph them.

American Bullfrog
American Bullfrog | August 15

Some interesting facts about the American Bullfrog…..

  • Live up to 9 years
  • Circular eardrums also called tympanum that are on either side of their heads
  • Males are aggressive and will protect their territory
  • Ambush predators
  • Females are slightly larger than the males
  • Females can lay up to 20,000 eggs