Meanwhile, a tiger swallowtail also tried to feed on the elongated blooms.
While my well-established trumpet vine seemed to have taken over everything including the porch, internet research turned up that the vine can take many years to get established.
It can be as long as ten years for the vine to bloom according to several sites.
However, once established the vine can quickly attempt a takeover.
That's just the nature of things 'round here.
A short story
Recent attempts to gain some hummingbird photos left me chuckling with the outcome of the final shots.
As I stalked the feeder trying to capture images of these flying jewels, one female hummer tried to thwart my efforts by feeding on the trumpet vine instead.
However, I was able to net some unflattering photos of her hummingbird butt. I have always found it funny that while trumpet vine blooms are one of the birds' favorites, that they are just a little too long.
It seemed to me that the small birds come up just a little short when feeding on the blooms.
A couple of other photos ended up as some headless hummingbirds.
Nonetheless, a male hummingbird decided to hide on the opposite side of the feeder to avoid me.
I felt like I needed to buy a feeder with only one port so that the birds would be forced to use a location in front of me. However, they most likely would just make the three-acre trip to my parents' feeder which would be paparazzi free.
A doe seems to be expressing her opinion on the deer flies on her back in this trail camera photo captured in late June.
Other photos showed just how bad the bugs were.
I felt for the deer.
I can use bug spray and spray down the goats with fly spray. Unfortunately, the bugs are just something the wild critters have to deal with.
Nonetheless, the annoying bugs have a part in the ecosystem as food for other bugs, birds, frogs and more. That's just the nature of things 'round here.
Frog hugs or frog thugs?
An aggressive water ballet between two bullfrogs earlier this month at the neighbor's pond sent me to the internet to find some information on this behavior. I wondered, "was it a mating display I observed, a territorial dispute, or some form of frog hugging?,". A search of bullfrog wrestling turned up several videos and some websites.
One video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=si1A9jk-5BQ depicted a battle similar to the one I had witnessed. However in my humble opinion, the battle I watched was a little more epic. Nonetheless, in the video I loved the fact that at the end of the skirmish, a duck nonchalantly swims by like, "Fight's over. Nothing to see here, folks."
Other websites shed light on the display as a territorial dispute.
"Behaviorally, males can be territorial and aggressive. They can sometimes be seen wrestling other males," said a post on the Berkshire Museum's website .
The frogs "settle in big enduring water bodies, like ponds, swamps and lakes. At the time of breeding, the male frog fiercely protects his territory. The call of the male is evocative of the roar like a bull, hence the name bull frog," said a post on www.learnaboutnature.com.
I had posted a short video of the end the bullfrogs' display on the PA Herps: Pennsylvania Amphibians & Reptiles Facebook page asking for clarification. One comment on the video was "I don't know, but interesting." Another was a veiled reference to the "Highlander" movie saying, "There can be only one."
After the fight was over, the two frogs separated, but not that far away from each other.
I searched for a little more information on bullfrogs. The PA Fish and Boat Commission had lots of great details about bullfrogs and other amphibians on their website.
The bullfrog is "a solitary creature, more so than any of our other frogs, and does not engage in chorus singing even during the breeding season," said a post on the site.
"The bullfrog normally does not sing in chorus with other bullfrogs. Given its solitary habit, it is a lone singer, although with several individuals residing on the same water it may seem as if they were conversing with one another," the post continued.
The Berkshire Museum's site went on to describe the frog's diet.
" As tadpoles, bullfrogs are herbivores who eat aquatic plants. As adults, bullfrogs are carnivorous ambush predators who eat mice, fish, birds, snakes, baby turtles, insects and anything that will fit in their wide mouths, even other bullfrogs or tadpoles," it continued.
However despite being a dominate pond predator, "the legs of the bullfrog are considered a culinary delight by many people. In Pennsylvania, this amphibian is regulated by seasons and bag limits," said the post on the fish and boat commission's site.
Apparently, I needed to get Sadie a fishing license.
Other frogs that I spotted at the neighbor's pond were most likely northern green frogs.
"This abundant frog is primarily nocturnal. That is, it is most active at night, but moves about and forages a bit during the day as well. Along with the bullfrog, it is more aquatic than many frogs. It is a medium-sized frog, slightly smaller, but otherwise similar in appearance to the bullfrog," said a post on the PA Fish and Boat Commission's website.
The nocturnal part of this statement intrigued me as I recalled several pictures of glowing frog eyes that appeared on the trail camera's night vision photos.
I feared I often might have confused the green frog with bullfrogs at the pond.
The boat commission's post provided further identification tips by saying, "The green frog appears in an assortment of colors and patterns. It may be a brilliant metallic green, or vary from greenish brown, or brownish to tan. Dark-brown or gray spots, some large enough to be called blotches, appear on the back, frequently in large numbers. The head and upper lip are green, which is especially noticeable in the adult male. A yellowish band runs along the jaw to the shoulders."
Whether it was a green or a bull, frogs were always a favorite photo subject. Mostly they were just floating, not fighting.
Several tadpoles that were transitioning to frogs were seen as the summer progressed. Back feet developed first, then the front and then slowly the tadpole tail disappeared.
Originally this post was just going to be random frog photos, before the whole feisty frog incident. I had searched the internet for inspirational frog quotes and only found a few.
“An old silent pond...; A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again.” ― Matsuo Bashō.
I particularly liked this phrase as it reminded me of many mornings at the neighbor's pond.
"The Nature of Things" features the writings and photographs of Anna Applegate, who is a lifelong resident of Pinegrove Township, Venango County. She is a graduate of Cranberry High School and Clarion University. After a 15-year career in the local news industry, she made a change and now works at a steel finishing plant in Sandycreek Township. She is a avid lover of animals and nature, and a gifted photographer.