We used to see lots of tree frogs and common toads in our yard when we first moved here in the early-1990s – lurking for unsuspecting insects in our vegetable garden and flower beds – but they began to disappear within a few years and now we rarely see them at all. This is the last large toad that I’ve been able to photograph, and that was over seven years ago. We’ve seen two or three other small amphibians since then, but none of them have been as big, beautiful, and plump as this one.
We don’t know what to attribute the decline to, because we didn’t use chemicals on our lawn, garden, or flower beds during the time that we noted the decline of their numbers in our yard. However, we do still hear peepers in distance at night, but even their welcome sound is dying down over time.
Photo info: Common toad (Bufo bufo) Poolesville, Maryland April 2014 Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH lens with helical extender Leica M240 digital rangefinder camera
This is Autumn, one of our two Maine Coon cats, looking like she’s just completely bored out of her mind. She loves to play fetch with little dragonfly toys that we heave all over the house just for her. To hear her side of the story, she’s the most abused little kitty to ever live… the most starved… the least paid-attention-to… the absolutely most neglected… the most ill-treated thing in all of existence. But that’s just so we feel totally obligated to lavish everything on this spoiled kitty, our feline overlord.
Photo info: Autumn Poolesville, Maryland October 2018 Eastman Double-X 5222 film Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM lens Leica M3 35mm film camera
One of the things I enjoy about being out west is the element of surprise. One minute, you’re simply enjoying the landscape – and in the next, you’re face-to-face with some ornery looking longhorns that are giving you the skunk eye. Almost as if they’re saying, “How fast can you run, punk? Because whatever it is, that’s not fast enough!”
Photo info: Texas longhorns Ennis Lake Ennis, Montana October 2017 Eastman Double-X 5222 film Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM lens Leica M3 35mm film camera