Northern Leopard Frog, Pilot Knob State Park, Iowa

Pilot Knob State Park near Forest City, Iowa has without any doubt a lot to offer for nature lovers. Two lakes are within the park and one of them, Dead Man’s Lake, is a floating sphagnum bog, the only one of it’s kind in Iowa. It is surrounded by flowering plants, native trees, and shrubs. The natural features of the park are significant and most of the park is dedicated as a nature preserve.

We were delighted to see a large number of small Leopard Frogs jumping all over the place while we walked on a trail. If you are close enough the frogs sometimes change their survival behavior and just sit still, using their camouflage skin pattern in hope not to be seen and preyed on. The challenge for the photographer is to find a “window” between the grasses and plants that allows an unobstructed view of the frog. When you were in the park last weekend and saw a man in the middle of the trail, lying on his stomach or on his knees with the butt in the air, well, that was me… All photos were made with just natural light and ISO settings between 320 and 1000.

All images: Nikon D750, Sigma 150mm / f2.8 APO EX DG HSM