Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Last night, when it was bedtime for my seven-year-old girl, I took her aside and said, "Put on your shoes and coat, we're going out to listen to the frog chorus!" This was our little secret, and she was bursting with excitement as we quietly sneaked out the door into the froggy night.
We all love frogs, and each of the children will have their turn, but tonight it was hers. Often we play at making frog sounds to each other. I'll start croaking, and she'll put her hand over my mouth and shout, "FROG!" and dissolve into laughter.
The singing grew steadily louder as we hurried through the neighborhood to the drainage pond, the chorus finally reaching a crescendo as we arrived. My little girl sat in my lap while the frog songs surrounded us and nearly overwhelmed our senses. Never have I heard an "opening night" when the frogs belted out their chorus with such abandon. Occasionally something would startle them and the song would instantly stop except for a few brave souls across the water. Then, slowly, new frogs would join in, including a particularly loud creature just a few feet away from us, until the full stereophonic frog experience had resumed.
The way I see it, frogs are like blackberries. (Hear me out!) A place where wild blackberries are so common and prolific that they're a nuisance tends be the kind of place I love--lots of rain and wet, beautiful trees, good growing season, close to the sea. Frogs thrive under exactly these conditions. Any place where frogs yell their throats out each spring is home to me.
We whispered back and forth about frogs, and why they sing, and how happy they are to awaken and be alive in the spring. She giggled about the unusually raspy sound of one frog in particular.
This morning my little girl told me she had dreamed all night about frogs.
[The title of this post comes from Muriel Blanchett's wonderful book, The Curve of Time, as she enjoyed the frogs with her little boy near their wilderness home on Vancouver Island.]