Yesterday we got a good thrashing- gusty winds, blowing rain that seeped in through cracked roof tiles and left puddles under the windows. Tree branches snapped and tossed their leaves all around the yard. A stream rushes under our bridge to the river below us, and the egrets from last summer are back. So beautiful- they wade in the pools and eddies where the fishing is good. They are very shy and as I cross the bridge, first one and then the other opens its wide white wings and flies high over my head to hide among the leaves. I assure them I am to be trusted- I’m vegetarian after all- but they don’t believe me.
The frogs are in raptures- a gazillion voices, some high pitched and some in the low registers. We are also serenaded by scolding squirrels, the sharp barking of our neighbors’ dogs, the calls of birds and an insect acapella competition.
This morning I was surprised to find a small tree frog on the tile floor of our living room. Blown in from yesterday’s storm? It was sitting up straight, back legs tucked under as if ready to spring. I quickly found a jar and a piece of cardboard so I could scoop him up, watch him for a while and then let him go in the garden. Considering how often I hear the frogs, I am surprised how rarely I ever see one.
I snuck up from behind, gently placed the glass jar over him and slid the cardboard underneath. He didn’t move a muscle, so I reasoned he must be dead. Very bizarre. What strange death and dying rituals do these creatures practice? Like a fallen Viking warrior cast off in his stone boat to Valhalla, he meets Odin with dignity and perfect posture.
Still, my plan was a good one- I moved the tiny dead frog outside under a tree, and the ants were delighted.