Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Froggie Came A Courtin
Last evening I went outdoors to work a little in my yard. The days have been so wonderfully warm (100+) that it has been difficult to do it any other time. Yes I know I could go out early in the morning, and that is what I usually do, yet this week has been an exception. Summer is definitely in full swing. Sunday was the first day of Summer officially yet he arrived as a guest about a week or so earlier. Hopefully this means that he may leave earlier too. It is not that such weather is uncommon to Oklahoma, on the contrary. I remember many a summer when it seemed like every day was 100+. That was when I was younger and most of my summer days were spent down at the Carmen park in the swimming pool all day. The heat is not as kind to me these days. Age seems to take alot of things from you, no matter how much you want to believe they are still with you. However, this really doesn't have a thing to do with what I was going to write about... Guess I went off on a tangent... Another age thing.
While I tended my flower beds with watering and cleaning the dead flowers off I noticed the multitude of frogs that we have in our pond. It has always been a fact that our pond has more than its fair share of them, yet there seemed to more than normal. As I worked in my yard I felt as if I was being watched, and each time I would glance at the pond it seemed that more frogs had gathered at the edge and were looking my way. At first I didn't think much of it yet as the number grew it began to sort of get to me. I stopped what I was doing and attempted to get closer to the water's edge and the frogs that had congregated. There were frogs of all sizes, Big little, green, and brown. A few of the smaller frogs jumped in as I came closer yet many of them stayed where they were.
It took me back a couple years to a spring morning when it had rained all night long. It was before we had done the current work on the pond and it tended to overflow when the rainfall was constant and heavy. This had happened the night before. The water from the pond had came out of its banks and ran up and around the big elm which held the tree house that Vince had built for Kylie & Brexton running down into the bottoms. As I watched the area where the event had occurred, it seemed as if something was in the grass. The sun seemed to reflect off of whatever it was and it was obvious that it was alive. I put on my flip flops and ventured out to the soggy yard to see what it could be. When I arrived to its location, down at my feet I could see hundreds of tadpoles. They were everywhere and some still being pushed from the pond by the water that still ran over the bank. I walked the path from the pond to the bottom where the water began to be more sparse. I realized that as the sun was rising and shining down on the ground, the tadpoles that were not completely covered by water would soon begin to lose what little they had. As that thought and its outcome were developing in my mind, a crow landed and looked at the abundance of breakfast before him.
Something had to be done. These young frogs could not be left to such a slow and painful death. Most of the tadpoles did not even have legs yet and the ones who had started the slow growth of there appendages could not reach to the ground. This made the only possible way for them to save themselves, was to swim back to the pond. First off I do not think that they had the sense to know which way to swim. I had tossed a couple of them back to the waters edge earlier and they just came back out with the current that was still in the pond from the overabundance of water.
A nearby bucket was used to hold them as they were gathered one by one via my hand. A few small fish, probably minnows were also saved that day. The bucket would be filled and then taken to the side of the pond where the current was not as strong and the likely hood of them floating out a second time was less. I carried bucket upon bucket full of tadpoles and a few minnows. I started to count them after a while as I knew I had only begun to gather them and I was also curious as to the number of them there. Approximately 100 tadpoles were in each bucket. At the end of my venture, I had counted 12 buckets. So literally I had just saved the lives of thousands of frogs. As I stood up and looked over the area to see if I could see any glistening off of the flopping bellies that may still remain, I noticed our neighbor across the way. I could only imagine what he must have thought of me bent over with my butt in the air for the last 2-3 hours putting something into a bucket and then dumping it into our pond. Yet I felt good about what I had done. Strange as it sounded, I felt that I had done a good thing. Time passed and we were blessed with many frogs and although they grew to nice size and many times Vince or others would suggest we go down and get a mess of frog legs I had to refuse. They had become somewhat like pets. Eating the mosquitoes that could breed and lending a nice tune now and then in the evening hours.
As I looked down at the frogs that were looking at me, it was if they too felt the same way. Yea I know they are frogs... just frogs, but they have become a part of our place and close to my heart. I wonder if any of the larger frogs that I look down at now were possibly one of the ones that I saved that day. I will never know yet there are a few of them that seem to always look up at me in a special way.