The American green tree frog (Hyla cinerea), also known as the "rain frog" due to its penchant for calling during damp weather, and the "cowbell frog" (as its call sometimes can sound bell-like from a distance) can be found all over the southeastern United States, its color ranging from dark green to bright yellow. Green tree frogs prefer wet or moist areas such as swamps, lake sides, and edges of streams. You may even find one in your backyard swimming pool! These little guys are insectivores, which means they are crucial in controlling insect populations, mosquitoes especially. As summer kicks in to high gear you can thank them for keeping the blood-sucking hordes at bay (though mosquitoes are just as important to the ecology and biodiversity of Alabama and beyond). Thanks to the rain frog, the cowbell frog, the green tree frog!
Help get our trails ready for summer! Maybe you or someone you know enjoys getting outside and getting a little exercise and sun on your shoulders? Well, tomorrow is your chance to join us for our monthly Trail Team Workday! The Trail Team and interested volunteers will meet at 8:00 AM at the Ruffner Ball Park, 300 Ruffner Road in Irondale, to hike to the Overlook Trail to complete trail renovations. Additional projects TBD after completion. We hope to see you there!
Do you know about Ruffner summer camps? For the months of June and July, Ruffner Mountain in partnership with Fresh Air Family will present nature-inspired summer camps for ages 3-5 and grades 1-6. For more information see the flyer below or visit http://www.freshairfamily.org/#!ruffner-mountain-camps/c1jrw.
Spend the summer with Ruffner!
Here's another shot from our staff trail work day last Thursday. We cleared a whole lot of invasives like privet and wisteria, installed a new gravel pathway and raised bed for gardening, and soon, we will add three new insect condos built by the inimitable Jon Woolley (@littleforest_). If you happen to find yourself in Irondale, driving or cycling down Ruffner Road, be sure to check out the new trailhead. Our new design will reduce the impact of automobiles (call it the "tireprint") on the trailhead environment while promoting biodiversity of the native flora and fauna. Healthier wildlife means happier hiking!
If you are a Ruffner or Sierra Club member and plan to attend, please fill out the form below. Non-members, scroll down to sign up!
Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 1, Ruffner Mountain members will have the chance to see one of the year's most spectacular outdoor phenomena, the annual synchronous firefly event. Every spring, in late-May to mid-June, fireflies biolumenesce as part of their regular mating ritual—the males flying and flashing as a display to the females, who remain stationary and flash. The resulting light show is unlike any other.
We will meet at Ruffner Ball Park entrance at 7PM. This event is open to all Ruffner Mountain Members.
To become a member, click the button below that's right for you
“……there was a numerous company of Flies, which were like for bigness unto Wasps or Bumble-Bees, they came out of little holes in the ground, and did eat up the green things, and made such a constant yelling noise as made all the woods ring of them, and ready to deaf the hearers;……”
“……there was such a swarm of a certain sort of insects in that English colony, that for the space of 200 miles they poysond and destroyed all the trees of that country. There being found innumerable little holes in the ground, out of which those insects broke forth in the form of maggots, which turned into flyes that had a kind of taile or sting, which they struck into the tree, and thereby envenomed and killed it..”