Monday, August 3, 2009

A Frog! A Frog!

A medium-sized frog has taken up residence in my little tub garden. She hangs on to the edge of the tub with her hands, like a swimmer holding on to the edge of the pool. It's difficult to describe her color—a sort of greeny-bronze, depending on how the sun is shining and what parts of her are above water. Her eyes are big and they stick out of her head. Nevertheless, she looks remarkably relaxed, and the two Shubunkins, Alpha and Omega, don't seem to mind her.

A frog in a pond, in the middle of summer, or a honeybee in the lavender, or a bat at sunset--—what is so amazing about that? When my field zoology professor, not so terribly long ago, said that we were the last generation to see animals in the wild, I thought he was crazy. The world in those days was overrun with bees that we swatted, frogs that kids hunted, bats that we hated. Who could imagine their demise?

And here I am now, that selfsame biology major, taking note of the fact that in this entire summer, in my not inconsiderable plantings of lavender and melissa and chamomile, not a single honeybee has buzzed. Taking note of the fact that I did one evening in June see a bat, but none since. And rejoicing that a frog, a seemingly healthy frog with no extra limbs or obvious deformities, has come to stay in my pond.

My field zoology prof was a prophet, or nearly so, after all. What can we do, in a reasonable, realistic, practical way, to prove him wrong?

11 comments :

  1. cherish that frog!

    i am so happy to report that there have been many, many lazy bees hovering around my bee balm, phlox, lavender, and coreopsis.

    keep planting things that attract them. although i know that's not the real problem.

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  2. I have seen some bats. Not a lot. But some.

    I LOVE frogs. I do hope I get to see your resident someday.

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  3. About the only thing I know about frogs is that they can't swallow without blinking. I want to find a frog to watch to check that it's true.

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  4. Laurie, if you send me some bees I will cherish them!

    Indigo, I've seen it every day since it first appeared, so you have a good chance of getting a look.

    Mali, sounds like you'd need to make a video and then slow it down in order to catch that blink and gulp.

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  5. I am seeing bees, even honey bees and suspect they are Deb's so I talk to them as they enjoy the borage, lavender and beramot, telling them to be well and strong as we want and need them.

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  6. Dona, whisper to some of those bees to come my way!

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  7. I don't know how to tell the difference between a honeybee and the other kinds of bees/hornets/wasps, but we do have insects that fly and sting hanging around our flowers this year. As far as I know, there are no artificial bee hives in the neighborhood.

    We saw lots of bats in Wisconsin when we visited -- skimming the water for insects. We used to have bats in our yard here in Bethesda, but since we politely asked them to take leave of our attic, have not seen many since.

    We also saw lots and lots of toads and frogs and turtles in Wisconsin -- all without extra bits and pieces.

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  8. Dona, those bats in Wisconsin are good news. One of the largest bat colonies in the nation lives in a cave near here, and those bats are dying by the THOUSANDS of some unknown disease.

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  9. Right -- I heard about the disease -- something to do with white wings or something like that? Very scary and sad. I really like bats.

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  10. I believe there is a white fungus that forms around their mouth. I've seen bats flopping around in broad daylight, bumping into buildings...

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