We've been away in Boston and Vermont for the past 10 days, so a lot has happened in the garden while we've been gone. The aromatic asters were just beginning to open as we left and I was afraid that I would miss them, but I didn't need to worry. They are still in full and glorious bloom!
Greg and I did a walkabout yesterday and I took a huge number of photos, most of which still need to be sorted and studied, edited and identified before I can think about sharing any of them - but I have a couple photos showing one surprise visitor that were easy to quickly focus on and that I thought you might enjoy....
After our walkabout, Greg decided to add some old straw to one of the vegetable garden beds for the winter. As he picked up the decomposing bale to redistribute it, an amphibian jumped out. Greg's first impulse was that it was a toad, based on location, general size, and general lack of shine to its skin. It looked different than most of our toads, though, so he called me over to take a look.
As of the writing of Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles in Kansas, which was copyrighted in 2010, the Gray Treefrog species complex was apparently expanding its range westward "along riparian corridors". The species occurrence map shown in the book does not show any occurrences documented in Sedgwick County, but there are a few in the counties generally south and east of us. It would seem that our individual may be one of the "pioneer" Gray Treefrogs, expanding their range west. So we may have a new county record!