Sunday, March 6, 2011

froggish

The Blue River of my childhood was a frog paradise.
Water may have had something to do with that. Frogs love the damp. The town was built round a small lake and as if that wasn't frog friendly enough, the rainfall of the area rivalled the coast. Lush cedar and thick undergrowth covered the hillsides and vast swamp land stretched into the surrounding valleys.
Water, water everywhere can only mean one thing. Mosquitoes. And a million other insects that fluttered, buzzed, and bit; All wonderful frog bait.
Water a plenty, food by the swarm, and apparently no natural predator. I'm sure two small preschoolers don't count. I don't know what creature should have kept the frog population in check, but they were the weak link in the food chain in Blue River's ecosystem. Thank goodness.
The water of the lake teemed with tadpoles in various states of development. Biology 101. Tiny black apostrophes; those with little back legs; swollen pre-frogs with four legs moved in shoals as we paddled and dipped in the frigid water to escape the clouds of mosquitoes. We happily scooped up slippery handfuls and hurled them at each other.
The summer days grew longer, but not necessarily warmer. It was Blue River after all. The shoreline would blur and seem to move as one. A million tiny frogs were on the move. Nary a spot to step. Wall to wall frogs.
How heavenly.

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