We spotted this handsome devil while driving somewhere through southern Pennsylvania many years ago. A classic scene for the area – a big proud red rooster atop a stone wall, daring all challengers to step up and go toe-to-toe with him.
Photo info: Red rooster A farm in southern Pennsylvania March 2006 Canon PowerShot G3
I don’t shoot many wildlife images for the simple fact that it can take an extraordinary level of patience and effort to capture decent looking photographs. This one in particular took nearly an hour and a half, and many dozens of exposures for me to finally capture one that I was satisfied with. I found that autofocus was useless because the osprey was arriving and departing too quickly, so I had to slowly setup manual focusing with each new arrival to the nest.
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