Autumn is here again in the northern hemisphere and I’m celebrating with an exhibition of images on the theme of ‘Life in the leaf litter’.
Scroll down this page to view a choice of images of wildlife down there amongst the fallen leaves! There’s a lot going on down there. Sometimes even the wildlife can’t move stealthily when there’s a crisp bed of dry leaves to be traversed.
I love the textures and the shapes in the leaf litter.
Recently I saw some very fine local crafts jewelry in the form of copper leaf pendants by Louisiana artist, author and Master Naturalist Amy Ouchley for sale at a gallery in Monroe and we were impressed. See the images at the end of the article for more info and her Facebook.
Portrait of a Blanchard’s Cricket Frog sitting still on a dried leaf beside diminutive fungi. In some places these little frogs hop like pop-corn at your approach. This one is in Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe Louisiana. It obligingly stayed still, trusting in its fantastic cryptic coloration and texture to guard it from harm. I took several images with a 100mm macro lens on my Pentax K-1 and spliced them together with Affinity Photo’s Focus Merge function. C. Paxton image and copyright.
Forest fungi abound at the moment. These two remind me of the thatched rooves of huts. C. Paxton image and copyright.
There are many blue and green dragonflies flitting about and settling in their own territories among the forest trees at Black Bayou Lake NWR, Monroe, Louisiana. C. Paxton image and copyright.
A young Western Ribbon Snake peeking from out of the leaf litter at Crawfish Springs, near Farmerville Louisiana. C. Paxton image and copyright.
An Eastern, Three-toed Box Turtle in the leaf litter at Crawfish Springs, near Farmerville Louisiana. C. Paxton image and copyright.
Tom turkey looking splendid at the excellent Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo in Monroe, Louisiana. C. Paxton image and copyright.
Not leaves, but Giant Tiger Swallowtails puddling for minerals by Gourd Bayou in the Russell Sage WMA near Monroe, Louisiana. C. Paxton image and copyright.
Tadpoles swim over leaves in the flooded oak woodland beside Bayou D’Arbonne beside Deep Well Road.
This Racer, Coluber constrictor, is about to shed beside the path alongside Rainey Lake in Tensas River NWR, near Tallulah, Louisiana. You can tell this because its eye scales have turned opaque and blue. Snakes tend to be bad-tempered in such a state and should not be approached. C. Paxton image and copyright.
May-apple flower at Crystal Recreation Area in Arkansas.
Sunset with native Phlox at Crystal recreation area Arkansas.