mercredi 18 mars 2009

Chut! Elles y sont the frogs!

A frog friend appears!


It isn't really occasion for an exclamation point, since they do appear each spring and spend the entire year living in this fish-pond-in-a-fountain, following the rhythm of their froggy lives, but I get so excited when I spot them for the first time each season. It's so reassuring.

Something we haven't scrouxed up.

I peddled back from a session with my trainer at the gym (16 km each way), collected the mail from the mailbox in the gate (Dreams of My Father arrived from the UK for the April 2 Barnard Book Club meeting) and stowed my bike in front of the kitchen window. Turning toward the basin, my eye caught movement and I heard a Plop! Then, there it was, another frog body, stretched out in mid-air, leaping from a clump of reed roots near the water's surface into the water, Plop!

They're out!

I crept around the side of the old fountain basin, toward the favorite spot in the moss below the bird bath sort of thing that Audouin left to make a fountain element for the fish, but we can't use it because the pump is too strong and it sounds more like Niagara Falls in the middle of the terrace. Our guests ask for us to turn it on and then tire very quickly of raising their voices to be heard over the falling water. There was a bright, golden-coppery glint in the sun behind the dried reeds. A frog!

How to tell you how this very simple and minor thing makes me feel on another 15° C already brilliant spring-like day, the sound of the tractor down in the field below turning over row after row of soil, preparing it for planting and the boats plying their way up and down the Seine, still visible while the trees present their buds?

I advanced as soundlessly as possible, although that probably wasn't necessary. This is the place in the old fountain where they feel safe, no matter what is going on around them. As long as they are here, sometimes a little pile of coppery and green bodies soaking up the sun on their bed of soft emerald-green moss, they think we can't see them, even as we gaze at one another. Or, they appear to gaze back at me.

Look carefully in the photo above. Can you see it? There, in the middle of the almost triangle in the center of the photo, just above the green patch of moss, there is a spot of coppery-brown, there, to the left, the two golden bulgy frog eyes.

I talked to him.

"Salut, toi. Je te vois. N'aies pas peur... n'aies pas peur. C'est moi. C'est moi."

Then, I looked over to the left of the bird bath thing, where the frogs that lept back into the water before were, and what did I see? A large, green frog, suspended in the water, holding a clump of reed roots with his front -- what do frogs have? paws? Ses pattes avants. Sam managed to make my camera's on/off button work again magically in Chamonix, so I didn't even have to reset it and miss the moment. I got him before he saw me and dove back into the safety of the roots.

He's there, looking at me, just below the little ball the neighbor's son tossed into the water the other day. Go ahead, click on the photo so that you can see it larger. He's right below the little ball, floating in the water, just to the right and below a little bit of light colored reed, sticking up out of the water. See his two little eye bulges?

"Hey, frog! Salut!" I said, not very loudly, but friendly enough, I hoped.

Shploof... he was gone.

Oooh, they are really not going to like my tearing out their home. I am going to have to invest in the costly basin I found online and pray that they figure out to hop over into it as I move their ecosystem over. If we really didn't have to repair the leak, I wouldn't do this. What's worse, the leak stops at a certain level above where the waterline presently is located, but I know that it can get worse, and we already can't see where the leak is located.

I think Florosny sells the preformed basins, too. I'll head over there in a little while. They're open again after lunch now. If not, I'll just order one online and wait for it to be delivered. I know, that would make you very happy, frogs, but...

If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twer well
It were done quickly: If th' Assassination
Could trammel vp the Consequence, and catch
With his surcease, Successe: that but this blow
Might be the be all, and the end all.

Although I think both the frogs and I would prefer
There were no Assassination in the basin,
No Consequences save those that are happiest,
No surcease for there to be Successe, but -- yea --
That this blow to the crack in the olde fountain
Be the be all, and the end all, for all time,
So that they may continue to live in peace,
As long as peace there yet be for us all.
....
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