Sunday, May 31, 2009

Screaming Frogs

I babysat Ryan & Grace yesterday on this glorious late spring Saturday - one of those days when the world is all blue and gold, bright and beautiful - one of those days you want to live in forever. We took a short walk up the road to chase frogs at Peck Pond, which was once the local swimming hole and now a nature preserve stocked with fish by the town.

It was late afternoon when we got there and the pond was half in shade. There were thousands upon thousands upon thousands of tadpoles with bellies about the size of a pinky nail, hiding in the little coves of shallow water near the shore. They still lacked any limbs other than a tail, like flattened out commas, but their faces were staring to take on a froggy shape.

We could hear the adult bullfrogs gulp and rmrrrrr-rou, and I, able to manage a pretty good ability to mimic (yes, I know –I am a man of many talents), started calling them out. Rounding the sunny side we found a big bullfrog, a bit larger than a kitten, sunning himself on a rock and giving the kids an enormous amount of excitement when he leapt into the pond away from us and managed to elude a hungry perch as well as two little kids and an uncle.

I did manage to capture one little guy (another talent) and passed him around to Ryan and Grace who were just silly with excitement over this poor creature. Before I returned him to his pond, Ryan reminded me of the screaming frogs.

A while back, when Ryan was in animal phase, and before his all consuming Star Wars phase, I stumbled over many videos on YouTube of screaming frogs. All the times, as a kid, I caught frogs in Peck Pond myself, I never even knew frogs could scream, let alone do anything other than croak or leap, but that’s the internet for you: showing you things you never knew existed on which other people have spent lifetimes obsessing.

They are just so hysterical in a weird/funny way.

Those are some ticked off frogs.