From the beginning of this year up until recent, I had been spending free time down in Fayette County Illinois. While there I took full advantage of an opportunity to document a local Spring Peeper concentration located at Ramsey Lake State Park. They truly are like looking for a needle in a haystack as you have to search for them by sound in either twilight conditions or after dark with a light. Even then when you've come so close that they are at your feet, they are still easily missed for merely being 3/4th's of an inch long. From late March through April, I made several visits and came away a little more successful with each attempt. On my final trip, Ava was along and got to experience what it is to go from silence during daylight to an ear piercing high frequency cacophony as dozens of them call for mates at sundown. She thought it was pretty cool and I am glad we had the chance to make this unique memory at her young age. Despite hearing them since childhood, I only saw one for the first time last year at age 41. From that brief encounter I knew that I wanted to return with new ideas inspired over winter which included developing a homemade portable macro studio that could easily be carried into the woods. For as all good things come to an end including my purpose for being in Southern Illinois, so too does the annual 'peep show' upon phasing into mid-spring. I have always had an affinity for Fayette County and especially since 2011 when Ava and I were down for another loud event being the periodical cicada emergence. Unfortunately, the reality of life that could not be more true for myself is that where we are vs. where we see ourselves as wanting to be is always just out of reach, much like a tiny peeper at night...
The 'portable macro studio' comprised of two milk crates duct taped together with the top one lined in black foam board while being illuminated by LED flashlight on an adjustable wire coat hanger.
March 29 - Water bottle cap
April 2 - Ceramic figure
Railroad marble balanced on the flashlight.
April 15 - Glass ball
I have a friend who makes the most amazing things including battery powered LED illuminated silicone mushroom night lights. I bought one off of her as it is by far the coolest prop yet!
In related news... a few of the grey tree frogs from last year made it through the winter!
Full night light, approximately 8"L x 4"W x 5"H. I believe they will be available on a limited basis. Learn more by contacting PJ's Kreechurs on Facebook.