Mid June in Southwest Florida isn’t exactly my favorite time of year. Its crazy hot, usually damp and what you think might be a dragon fly is usually just enormous mosquito. That said , when Florida Gulf Coast University’s Pinnacle Magazine asked if I wanted to head out with the Southwest Florida Amphibian Monitoring Network to document them collecting data on frog populations, I grabbed my muck boots and started packing gear.
The group of trained volunteers on “Frog Watch” as they call it, head out once a month from June through September during our rainy season and travel nine established routes through three counties making 12 stops on each route to collect data on the frogs. Volunteers take notes on mating calls of specific species, intensity of the call, as well as traffic noise, water levels and other environmental conditions.
I love meeting other people who are passionate about what they do, and I had a great time with FGCU environmental studies professor Win Everham as he guided us along the route that included a variety of habitats for different frog species.
The shoot was challenging because of the darkness and my light sources were mostly street lights and flashlights, and I didn’t want to try and throw a strobe into the mix. The unbelievable high ISO capabilities of the Canon 5D Mark III, shooting with a tripod and slowing down the shutter speed helped bring out the night sky and even some light pollution from nearby Fort Myers, Estero and Bonita Springs.