Columnist: Summer offer bumper crop of frogs
Published 2:05 am Wednesday, June 20, 2018
For some reason this year produced a bumper crop of frogs at my house. When I take a walk around the yard, I see them scattering as I step. There must be hundreds of them and they start out tiny. I’d guess these babies are no bigger than my thumbnail.
Ah, but the babies are growing up and it’s fun to watch. This morning I spied one hopping along the walkway leading to our front porch. It was double the size of the little fellows I saw last week.
Frogs seem like happy creatures to me. I mean all they do is hop merrily around and eat bugs. I guess they eat bugs. I’m not really an expert on frog cuisine.
A couple of bigger frogs took up residence in my flowerbed. They are sitting peacefully in holes they dug every time I stop to look at my plants. Their hindquarters nestle comfortably into the earth while their bug eyes stare out at the world.
I like my frogs. They make me smile. However, I am probably not the only one who likes this year’s frog crop. Last week, I met the black snake that lives under the deck on the water side of our yard.
He (I don’t know its a he, but I feel like it is) crawled out to sun on the deck and I almost stepped on him. I suspected something was going on under the deck when my cat kept sniffing a meowing.
When I almost stepped on him, it scared the daylights out of both of us. I jumped and gave a little squeal. The snake did his version of a jump and raced back under the deck. Meanwhile frogs hopped all around both of us.
Since I wanted a closer look, I proceeded to stomp on the deck hoping to chase it out again. Watching my cat’s behavior told me the snake probably was not poisonous. It finally crawled out the other side and upon closer inspection, I determined that it was indeed a nonpoisonous friend.
It quickly spotted me and dashed for safety again. This meant I repeated the stomping dance. Luckily, there were not fishermen passing by at that moment because the sight of me march-jumping was a sight not intended for public consumption.
Apparently, snakes don’t enjoy people pounding on boards over their heads; out he came again. This time he settled on a step and I swear that snake was staring right at me.
Therefore, I did what any rational person would do; I started talking to him. I don’t know for sure, but I think he was listening. At least he wasn’t moving and his eyes looked in my direction. I think a few frogs stopped to listen to the lady talking to a snake.
After a few minutes of me speaking in a voice that was a cross between how I talk to my cats and how I talked to my baby children, my snake friend did something that made me smile.
He yawned. (To me it looked like a yawn but I don’t know if snakes yawn). He opened his mouth wide and then snapped it shut. Then as if to say, “I’m done with you,” he slithered under the deck.
I laughed and looked at the gathering of frogs under my feet.
“You guys might want to find somewhere to hide,” I said. “I think you may look like lunch to our friend under the deck.”
They seemed to understand and took off toward the leaves of the elephant ears growing in the flowerbed. They still may end up a snake snack, but that is nature.
Anyway, the baby frogs are rapidly growing. I guess that’s a sure sign spring is becoming summer. Frogs and snakes will do what frogs and snakes do I guess.
I simply feel blessed to be a part of it, blessed to see life hopping and slithering all around me when I take time to look.
Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.