Frog Watch for FGCU

 

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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. ┬áThat 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. ┬áVolunteers 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.

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