Critter Corner

Critter Corner No. 22 – The Giant Water Bug by George Sly

 With several thousand acres of shallow water, it should come as no surprise that Goose Pond FWA is home to an abundant, varied, and highly interesting assemblage of aquatic macroinvertebrates. The prefix macro- means big enough to see without a microscope and the suffix invertebrate refers to their lack of a backbone. Hidden from the…
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Critter Corner No. 21 – The Red Bat by George Sly

Critter Corner No. 21 – The Red BatbyGeorge Sly(photo courtesy So. Conn. St. Univ.)A recent presentation on bats to a group of Sullivan Elementary School second graders reminded me that this was a group which has, up until now, been totally neglected in my Critter Corner blogs. Time to remedy that oversight! It would be…
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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

Critter Corner No. 19(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…
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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 Conservation     My 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…
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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. 14 – The Chorus Frog & Spring Peeper by George Sly

 Critter Corner No. 14I unabashedly love the spring season here in Indiana. The steady progression of natural events – from the first leaf buds and flowers to the onset of morels and the return of Neotropical migrants – leaves me fascinated, entertained, and in awe of Nature’s annual power of rejuvenation. But, if I had…
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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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