Sigh. Seattle’s doing this let’s-hold-on-to-summer thing that it rarely does. I want to be outside so bad it physically hurts. And, of course, it’s now that they’ve closed the vacation calendar and are making noises about mandatory overtime. Combined with some of the other stuff going on, it’s enough to make me scream.
So it’s nice to come home and spend a few minutes with frogs. I haven’t got time or energy for anything in-depth, but you won’t care. Baby bullfrogs. That’s all I need to say.
Let us begin with the tadpoles.
I shot these fat little fellows from the road over the slough. It’s a steep embankment, probably about six to ten feet tall, and these weren’t right below me. Even with 10x optical zoom, the fact you can see these little dudes at all means they’re actually huge.
And I figured, where there are tadpoles, there are probably froggies. I saw a little path leading down from the embankment along the slough, and headed down.
There were bullfrogs all right. I heard one give the startled gasp-squeak-scream that sounds a bit like a plunger having hysterics, and a plop, and grinned to myself. I tiptoed on down towards the water, but apparently wasn’t light enough – next I knew, it was plop-plop-plop in quick succession, tiny little splooshes like and yet unlike regular bullfrogs. It could mean only one thing. Bebbies!
And one mostly-grown bullfrog who just chilled, watching me lazily, as if to say, “Kids.”
I gave the Mellow One a companionable nod and settled in to wait on the bank, hoping the bebbies would get courageous enough to reappear.
Soon, a small head breached the oily surface of the slough like a periscope.
The instant it saw me, it was bam! back under the water.
A few moments later, bubbles announced the presence of concerned amphibians a bit further out from shore.
I bided my time, holding very still. And, eventually…
Up floated this wee one. You can see its dear little toeses under the water. We gazed at each other for a time, and then I apparently moved a little too abruptly, and it dove back underwater.
Meanwhile, off to the side, another one approached the surface, considering…
A bit later, it poked a cautious nose above the surface.
And another one did the same a few feet away.
You can see a leaf in the bottom left, there – sort of an aspen-sized leaf, nothing very large. Gives you a sense of how little these precious froggies are. I mean, for baby frogs, of course, they’re huge – they’re bullfrog babies – but they’re itty-bitty compared to what they’ll be should they survive to adulthood.
And all the while, the original Mellow One just stayed put, completely relaxed, watching the proceedings with mild interest while the babies bobbed. Adorable.
This, people, is why I’ve begun to look for jobs that might get me outdoors a bit. Not sure what I’ll find or if anything will come of it at all, but I’m hoping someone will be hiring a frog watcher at a decent salary. I could do this all day. Probably even in the rain. There’s something deeply soothing about frogs. I think part of the reason my blood pressure’s skyrocketing at work (aside from no longer being able to smoke out my frustrations) is that some absolute rat bastards went through the miniature wetlands-inna-ditch with weed whackers and destroyed the habitat our local bullfrogs had enjoyed so much this summer. Sigh. No more wandering down to the ditch on breaks to say hello to bullfrogs. All gone.
But I did hoof it over to the creek today, and saw fishies jump, so maybe there’s some hope for 15 minutes of nature after all…
And we’ll always have the babies in the slough.