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In an area of Anahuac NWR known as “The Willows,” I noticed that the pond appeared to be boiling in many areas. I looked closer and decided that the boiling  was really spots where lots of air bubbles were coming to the surface. I plunked all my stuff down on the boardwalk, sat down and watched closely for awhile. I believe what I was seeing was a large number of giant tadpoles swimming quickly to the surface for a breath of air, then diving back down to hide beneath the layter of plant material. It happened so fast that I never quite saw them with my own eyes, but this lucky photo captured the source of these bubbles. Giant tadpole?


I have never actually seen a crayfish, though their exit-burrows are familiar enough. Is this a crayfish…that’s my assumption. This photo shows one side of the body above the surface, and the legs below the surface. You can also see one black eye. Are those whiskers? It was so fun to see this new (to me) creature in the water.


This grackle is in the middle of a full-throated call which I can only describe as the sound of bubbling water. I captured his picture right at the moment his nictitating membrane was raised, something that happened fairly routinely while he strutted around in an inch or so of water at the edge of the pond. The grackles that live near my house make a very interesting, hard-to-describe call…but I’ve never heard them make sounds like bubbling water. These grackles appeared to be hunting,  near the edge of the bubbling pond. I can only assume that the grackles have learned to mimic the sound of the bubbles. Fascinating!

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