Photo by Corey Husic

Friday, July 15, 2011

Phenology Note: July 15, 2011

While on a walk today, I noticed several small toads crossing the path.  These tiny toads probably emerged from the nearby pond earlier today.  Toads start out as an egg, which is laid under water, then live in these ponds as a tadpole for several months.  Once the tadpole grows, develops legs, and loses its tail, it is ready to leave the pond.  This time of year, these toads seem to be everywhere as they spread out from the place where they were born.

While on the walk, I also noticed a small, bluish flower along the side of the path.  The tiny flower belonged to an Indian-tobacco (Lobelia inflata) plant, a mid-summer flower of woodland edges.  The species name, "inflata," comes from the shape of the swollen ovaries (seed pods) once the flower is done blooming.  This photo is from last year, so the flowers and seed pods are visible.  Here in Kunkletown, today was the first day I noticed flowers on this species this summer.

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