An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Mystery Photo

Mystery Photo

mystery-photo-049a2992Whose tracks are these?  (Hint: front track is on left, hind track is on right – both between 2″ and 3″; black portion of photo is water)  Please go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and submit your answer under “Comments.” Thank you.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.


Coyote Tick Update

e-coyote-tick-by-mholland-049a2231For those of you who might be interested, I heard back from the TickEncounter Resource Center (www.tickencounter.org/) after submitting my photograph for identification.

Their response: You’ve encountered an adult female blacklegged (deer) tick. These ticks typically become very abundant after the first frost and remain active all winter whenever temperatures are above freezing. You might be interested in checking our hyperlink to see how much ticks can change their appearance the longer they’re attached and feeding.  It appears your tick was attached and feeding for about 5-6 days and then it detached from whatever it was feeding on–we’re wondering how you knew it was from a coyote and not a deer; maybe the footprints in the snow?? Autumn IS peak adult deer tick season but the activity of these ticks typically slows as it gets colder. They don’t die though.

This site is a great resource on ticks, tick-borne diseases and tick prevention provided by the University of Rhode Island.(I sent them the photo of the coyote bed so they would know how I knew it had fallen off a coyote, not a deer.)


Mystery Photo

12-6-16-mystery-photo-049a1872

Who’s been walking in the snow? To submit an answer, go to my blog and click on “Comments.”

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.


Mystery Photo

mystery-photo-049a1982Who has been here and what has it been doing? Hint: blue in upper left is water, not sky. (Difficulty: 9 out of 10, 10 being the most difficult)  Please post answers under “Comments” on my blog.  Thank you.


Mystery Photo

11-10-16-mystery-photo-049a1301If you think you know what this is, please go to the Naturally Curious blog page, http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com, and enter your answer under “Comments.”  Thank you!  (Identification will be posted tomorrow.)


Mystery Photo

6-23-16  mystery photo 073Who is lurking behind the cattails?  Please respond under “Comments” (scroll down).  Answer will be revealed tomorrow.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.


Mystery Photo

3-31-16 mystery photo1009Many of my posts are the result of a call from someone familiar with my “natural curiosity” as well as my need for five interesting subjects to photograph and write about each week.  A naturalist friend who shall remain anonymous (for reasons that will become apparent) sent me a photograph asking me to identify something he had discovered partially submerged, clinging to a rock in a freshwater pond several miles away.

I was unfamiliar with any invertebrate aquatic species that even vaguely resembled this organism, and immediately thought it would make a great “mystery photo” for my blog.  The only trouble was that I needed to know what species it was in order to solve the mystery for my readers the following day, so I knew that if it was possible I needed to see this creature for myself.

It was a stretch to hope that it would still be in the same location 24 hours later, but I felt it was worth the trip to this pond just in case luck was with me.  After getting specific directions to the location of the rock I visited the pond, and to my total delight the subject I was searching for was there, exactly where it had been seen the day before.   With a 400mm lens I was able to photograph it (after slipping knee-deep into the pond trying to get as close as I could to it).  Long story short, hoping beyond hope that this actually was a very rare, if not totally new, species, I took hundreds of pictures of it in an attempt to get its “tail” to show.  Strong winds caused tiny waves to wash over it every other second, making this quite difficult, but I persevered, and came home very excited to have achieved the unlikely accomplishment of having actually found and photographed this bizarre-looking creature.

Only after downloading and blowing up image after image did I realize that my wet feet were for naught… I spent several hours, considerable gas, over 1,000 photographs and got my feet soaked all for an algae-covered fishing lure, or something man-made, perhaps a spring of some sort.  Waking up this morning, I realized Mother Nature had royally succeeded in April fooling at least two naturalists, at least one of whom is feeling very humbled.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com  and click on the yellow “donate” button.