Backyardsafari's Blog

Environmental Inspiration in Your Own Backyard

Backyard Safari’s First Reader Photo Submission! May 3, 2010

I am very excited to present our very first reader photo submission! These photos were sent in by friend-of-the-blog Julia (view Julia’s blog here), and document a recent hike she took in West Greenwich outside of Providence, Rhode Island. She says, “I took my camera along and we were very careful to look for creatures and interesting plants to share with Backyard Safari.  I am so psyched about what we found…Here are the pictures!”

This first picture is of the trail she hiked, which was slightly flooded, and a nearby creek. About the photo Julia says, “This gives you a sense of the forest we were in, which was magical and quiet.  The only thing we could hear was the water streaming and once or twice a bird call.”

Here is a picture of some delicate flowers Julia found on her walk. She says they were one of the only things in bloom at the time. Very pretty!

About this photo she says, “I was literally in the middle of ruminating over the concept of seeing things differently if you look harder, when I saw the leaves below me do a little shake.  I stopped, knelt down, but couldn’t see anything!  Then, my eyes re-focused and I saw this adorable tiny little toad, perfectly camouflaged in the dry leaves.”

This is a great reminder for all of us to take the time to look a little closer and really notice what is around us–look how well it worked out for Julia! After taking a few pictures of the toad she noticed he only had one eye, but she couldn’t tell if it had been lost in an accident or as a deformity from birth.

Julia also sent in this picture of a young fern, saying: “These were also everywhere, in varying stages of uncurling and stretching out into the low-lying canopy.  They are my favorite shade of green.”

Finally, she sent in this picture of a crayfish which appeared “out of nowhere under my feet as we walked on our way back, barefoot, through the creek-path.”  An exciting end to what seems like a great trip!

Thanks a lot to Julia for sharing her pictures and experiences! I loved seeing all of the plants and animals she found and hearing about her hike. She kept her eyes open and as a result saw some things that other people might have missed as they walked through the same woods. Her toad and crayfish sightings prove that there is so much life going on all around us–we just have to stop and look!

This is our first reader submission to the blog, but I hope it isn’t the last! If you see anything interesting in your area, please take some pictures and send them in to Let’s all try to look a little closer, together!