Critter Corner

Critter Corner No 20 – The Fowler’s Toad by George Sly

In previous blogs I have discussed some of the frogs to be found at Goose Pond FWA. During the 2010Biodiversity Survey conducted at GPFWA, eight species of anurans (frogs & toads) were found. In this edition of Critter Corner let’s learn a bit more about the only toad species found during the survey Bufo fowleri….
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Critter Corner No 19 – The Fox Squirrel by George Sly

(photo by Judy Gallagher – commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55331862)Discussing the Fox Squirrel as a member of the GPFWA fauna may seem a bit surprising. After all, we normally associate the property with wetland and prairie habitats primarily. These are hardly the sorts of places one would expect to find an arboreal (tree dwelling) mammal. But with the DNR’s…
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Critter Corner No. 18 – The Red-eared Slider by George Sly

Sherman Minton’s authoritative Amphibians & Reptiles of Indiana (1) notes that this turtle emerges, in southern Indiana, from its period of winter inactivity in early April. But, this book was published in 2001. In our rapidly warming world, Mother Nature seems to be re-writing the rules. By mid-February 2017, large numbers of Pond Sliders were…
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Critter Corner No. 17 – The Praying Mantis by George Sly

 Past episodes of Critter Corner have dealt with some of the mammals, reptiles, and amphibians of GPFWA. One might claim that I have missed the boat by not acknowledging the presence, and importance, of members of the largest taxonomic group of animals on the planet – the insects. Fans of these creatures would have a…
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Critter Corner No. 16 – The Prairie Kingsnake by George Sly

Photo Courtesy of Missouri Dept. of ConservationMy earliest recollection of meeting a snake, one which I can identify to species, happened when I was just a youngster. Engaged in a lively outdoor game of hide and seek, I leaped over a roadside culvert and took shelter in the ditch below. As I lie in hiding,…
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Critter Corner No. 15 – The Eastern Mole by George Sly

 Most of the mammals which make Goose Pond FWA their home are secretive and seldom seen. The subject of this edition of Critter Corner is no exception. In fact, the Eastern Mole is made even more elusive by the nature of its fossorial (burrowing) behavior. Certainly we see the mounded earth and raised tunnels of…
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Critter Corner No. 13 – The Virginia Opossum by George Sly

  (image courtesy of Wikimedia) In the last edition of Critter Corner I spoke of the coyote as a Goose Pond mammal which doesn’t garner the respect it deserves. To this list of unappreciated mammals I now add the Virginia opossum. Hardly anyone I encounter seems to have a good word for this curious and ancient…
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Critter Corner No. 12 – The Coyote by George Sly

 I must say, this is the first edition of Critter Corner I have had to begin by offering a disclaimer. But the fact is that few other animals generate the polarized love or hate sentiments engendered by Canis latrans. So, I have to begin by professing a degree of sympathy and admiration for this much…
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Critter Corner No. 11 – The Common Snapping Turtle by George Sly

I ran across one of these fellows on a recent trip to GPFWA. With water levels at their lowest, I espied a large animal moving across a small island between two shallow pools in the GP 11 basin. Training my binoculars on the movement, a huge common snapping turtle was revealed. Much like the image…
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