Critter Corner

Critter Corner No. 18

Critter Corner No. 18 The Red-eared Sliderby George SlySherman 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,…
READ MORE

Critter Corner No. 17

The Praying MantisbyGeorge SlyPast 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…
READ MORE

Critter Corner No. 16

Critter Corner No. 16The Prairie KingsnakebyGeorge Sly Photo Courtesy of Missouri Dept. of ConservationMy 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…
READ MORE

Critter Corner No. 15

Critter Corner No. 15the Eastern MolebyGeorge SlyMost 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…
READ MORE

Critter Corner No. 14

 Critter Corner No. 14The Chorus Frog and Spring Peeper    by George SlyI 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…
READ MORE

Critter Corner No. 13

Critter Corner No. 13The 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…
READ MORE

Critter Corner No. 12

Critter Corner No. 12   The Coyote by George SlyI must say, this is the first edition of Critter Corner I have had to begin by offering a disclaimer. But the fact is that few other animals generate the polarized love or hate sentiments engendered by Canis latrans. So, I have to begin by professing…
READ MORE

Critter Corner No. 11 – Common Snapping Turtle

By George Sly I ran across one of these fellows on a recent trip to GPFWA. With water levels at their lowest, I espied a large animal moving across a small island between two shallow pools in the GP 11 basin. Training my binoculars on the movement, a huge common snapping turtle was revealed. Much…
READ MORE

Critter Corner No. 10 – The River Otter

By George Sly Goose Pond FWA has gained a well-deserved reputation as a site for spotting rare birds. Now we can add a mammal to the category of rarities. On Dec. 17th, 2015, during the GPFWA Christmas Bird Count, Sandy and Jeff Belth of Bloomington spotted a river otter on the property. CBC compiler Lee…
READ MORE

Critter Corner No. 9 – Eastern Cottontail

For this edition of Critter Corner, I’d like to shift gears and return again to consideration of Goose Pond mammals. Since the fall hunting season is well upon us, it seems appropriate to ponder the habits of one of the state’s most popular game animals – the eastern cottontail rabbit. This very familiar animal belongs…
READ MORE