lundi 22 mars 2010

Hello Frog!

The first frog


They're baaaack!

I knew if I were quiet enough today that I would see one. I was certain I had heard the characteristic "splosh, splosh" of two diving back into the water to escape being seen by me yesterday, and, sure enough, looking in exactly the place where I am most likely to catch one thinking he (or she) is outsmarting me, I saw through the algae a rear foot push off to get away, and then its head!

I know. I am using exclamation points to talk about frog sitings in my basin, but this is what I live for. This is why I live here. To squat by the side of the basin and watch for the frogs, take pictures of the frogs who have chosen to make this old fountain, turned into a fish and wildlife sanctuary quite accidentally by my husband years ago, when he first lived here, their home.

And this after we had to empty it, catching the poor frogs with a children's fish net I bought in the Finisterre for the purpose, and placing them into a makeshift home, while we located the leak that had killed so many of the fish in the terrible freeze of January 2009, and repaired the basin. Most of them jumped from the plastic tub I had also bought in an agricultural supply store in the Finisterre, also just for the purpose, but they returned, once the basin was restocked with its stones, plants, new fish from the local garden centers (our defunct Florosny and Truffaut), who made a new generation of fish, native to the basin, and the mud from the bottom that I had saved in pails, just for the frogs. At least those who would.

They also made lots of tadpoles we had the great pleasure of watching turn into baby frogs, who would go hibernate somewhere in the garden or beyond this first winter of their lives. Some will return to live in the basin, some will find elsewhere to live, many others will have perished in their travel to find a suitable place to winter.

That is nature.

This year, a new cycle begins, and I am right here to follow the progress with about the greatest joy, enthusiasm and sense of rightness in the little world around me that I can imagine. It isn't easy to describe this to people who haven't lived it, or who are used to finding pleasure in so much more, and I tend to protect it, not sure I can stand the looks of confusion or incomprehension I might see.

Anyone who wants to come squat by me, very quietly, and watch the frogs is welcome. Just please close your eyes if you should come into the house.
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