Friday, July 25, 2008


For those of you who don't know me well ... who am I kidding, both people who read this know me well. So AS YOU ALREADY KNOW, I've always been into anything that crawls, slithers, or hops. Last weekend we visited my parents in Pima, AZ. This time of year, when it rains, that little town is hoppin! Toads everywhere. Last year we caught a small Red-Spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus) named Sedona, who was a valued member of our family for 9 months before dying of symptoms related to too much Nathan love. So this trip gave us a chance to pick up a couple replacements, and catch and realease hundreds more.

Nathan gets the award for catching the largest toad. He is fearless and loves small animals possibly even more than his daddy. This one is a large Sonoran Desert Toad (Ollotis alvaria). Definitely too big to take home, but fun to chase and catch.

Here is our new Red-Spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus). She is larger than the one from last year, so maybe she will survive Nate's play a bit better. We've named her Sedona's Big Sister, or Sedona II. I've noted she can jump out of the terrarium if the lid is left off, so hopefully that will not attribute to her untimely demise.

This cute little guy is a Couch's Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii). She's a cute toad, but I don't expect we'll see much of her. She likes to bury herself, and rarely comes out.

Our other two toads, which we have had for about 1.5 years, are Chinese Fire-Bellied Toads (Bombina Orientalis). Pictured here is Walker, who is a bit shy and reserved. Not pictured is his nearly identical twin Texas Ranger, who is much more outgoing; more of a go get 'em kind of cricket hunter rather than a wait-for-them-to-come type. Of course, we love them equally.

Here's where they live. And yes, there really are 4 toads and one fake frog in this pic.

We also brought home a few hundred small tadpoles of unknown species. they were in a puddle about to dry up. Many will end up as food for the above 4 mentioned cannibals. Hopefully a few will make it to froghood and to this blog at a later date.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A walk at The Mall

After work today I decided to go on a 5 mile walk at The Mall. I had my camera with me so I took a few shots and thought I'd brake my long-time blog silence.

This is a shot of the National Mall. I took it while sitting on Lincoln's lap. OK, they wouldn't let me do that, even after I explained I'm American. But I did take it from the top of the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial.

See? Doesn't his lap look inviting? Hard to tell scale from this photo, but there's room for a dozen red blooded Americans up there!

This is me at the Vietnam and Korean War memorials. I'm the one in the blue shirt. For those that have never been there, seen here is about 1/50th of the Vietnam Memorial. The Korean War Memorial is cool because until up close it looks like an ungraved huge stone with smudges on it.

This is the WWII memorial with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. If you visit, don't miss this little "Killroy was here" gem hidden in a back crevice by an air vent.

Here's the Washington Monument and the Capitol.

Here's the White House from the Mall and from Pennsylvania Avenue.

I love the Washington DC license plates.