Here are my 10 favorite photos of 2018:
10: Portrait of a unisexual Ambystoma salamander:
9: Male Reddish-Brown Stage Beetle: I have seen larvae and females of this species, but it wasn’t until 2018 that I encountered a male. While walking across the CWRU campus one day, I came across this male beetle with the characteristic large mandibles.
8: Wood Frog hiding under a leaf: Just the nose and limbs of this wood frog are visible hidden under a leaf.
7: Metamorphosing Pickerel Frog: No longer a tadpole, but not yet a full frog, this froglet has four limbs and the shrinking remains of its tadpole tail.
6: Midge from Lake Erie: In 2018 the midges emerging from Lake Erie swarmed all over my house. I took several photos, but this image of a midge perching on top of a leaf was my favorite.
5: Toad Lurking in Background: This photo captured the chaos of the toad mating season. One pair of toads are in amplexus, but another male waits in the background for an opportunity to mate.
4: Spring Peeper nearing metamorphosis: The shape of the front limbs are visible under the skin of the tadpole’s body. Within a day or two, the front limbs will emerge, and the tadpole will continue through metamorphosis.
3: Bellowing Bullfrog: I spent a wonderful evening listening to some bullfrogs calling. The photo captures drops of water being launched from the frog’s body by the vibrations of the call. You can also see this in a video of the bullfrog calling.
2: Baby Twin-Spot Spiny Lizard on a fence: This calm little lizard let me catch a quick snapshot of it sitting near the top of a fence post.
1: American Alligator in MC Escher Style: This photo reminded me of MC Escher’s work, although the effect wasn’t intentional.