Archives for posts with tag: plants

Sitting next to the water’s edge is the California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii). This species of frog is native to California and is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List.(1)  The frog gets its name from the red color that can be seen on the underside of the hind legs. The overall coloring of the frog ranges from brown to red, the red becoming more prominent as the frog ages.

The California Red-Legged Frogs were among the most abundant amphibians in California until the late 19th century when the arrival of California gold miners caused them to be almost eaten into extinction. About 80,000 frogs per year were consumed by the booming human population.(2) Today the frog population has declined seriously. However, in March 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced 1,600,000 acres of protected land for the species throughout California.(3) Check out the frog in this short video.

Limited edition prints, as well as the original of this painting are available on my Etsy shop.

© 2012 Ashley P. Halsey


Pyne’s Ground Plum (Astragalus bibullatus) is a beautiful species of flowering plant[1]  which is endemic to the cedar glades of Middle Tennessee, near the rapidly growing city of Murfreesboro. These glades occur on rocky limestone outcrops with exposed bedrock or very shallow soil, where trees are largely unable to grow. Pyne’s ground plum grows along the deeper soiled glade margins or in partially-shaded areas (2). The flowers turn to reddish orange fruit (that resembles a plum) in late May through early June. Classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants 1997 (3) and listed as Endangered on the U.S. Endangered Species Act 1967 (4), the plant is most definitely at risk. Primary threats to this wildflower are generally residential or commercial development, as well as livestock grazing and more competitive vegetation(5). Attempts have been made to establish a new population at Stones River National Battlefield, TN, and there are high hopes that the new population will be self-sustaining (6).

Limited edition prints, as well as the original of this painting are available on my Etsy shop.

© 2012 Ashley P. Halsey

Have you ever tried to catch a grasshopper? It’s pretty hard; and there are a couple of reasons why. For one thing, most can jump 20 times their length – and some species more than that. The other reason is that grasshoppers have five, yes five, eyes!

I believe this brightly colored little guy is a Differential grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis). I found him in action eating his lunch in a friend’s garden. There are 548 species of North American grasshoppers, so it can be hard to keep track of which one is which. Most grasshoppers are considered pests because they can destroy crops, however, they have a wide range of natural predators and also can be beneficial when they eat weeds. Instead of lungs, grasshoppers have tiny holes, called spiracles, in their thoraxes and abdomens. Next time you see a grasshopper, look at it closely. You can see the abdomen move in and out as it breaths.

The original work is available for purchase on Etsy.

© 2011 Ashley P. Halsey

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