Friday, April 09, 2010


Detail from October, by Eric Griswold.

So I took the dogs out for little evening stroll a few minutes ago. Around the corner and a ways, there is a little wetland, a marshy pond next to a ditch, just behind the Seventh Day Adventist's Church parking lot. Half a block away from the corner there, I heard this loud, kind of grinding noise, and it got louder and louder. Some kind of machine ... ?

Took me a minute to realize it was hundreds, maybe thousands of small frogs in full throat. I don't know what kind, probably Pacific Tree Frogs -- the voices were high-pitched, shrill, almost like crickets, and it was as loud a collection of amphibians as I heard since leaving Louisiana. I hear them now and then in wet and warm weather, but never this many at once.

So I crossed over and took out my flashlight and shined it into the mire. Caught the reflections of some tiny eyes, and they all shut up, like somebody clicked off a switch. One second, it was like grinding concrete -- the next, completely silent.

Hey, whoa! Somebody up there with a flashlight. Better shut up and stay off the sonar, dude, never know but he's some coonass eats guys like us ...

Always something new going on the neighborhood.


Dan Gambiera said...

Oooooh, BABY! It's Spring and the sounds of raw, unbridled Amphibian Lust are in the air.

Justin said...

Driving home at night from my girlfriend's during my teen years, I was on a road with swamp on both sides. Little frogs by the hundreds loved to hop from one swamp to the other -- until they found various parts of themselves squeezed into the treads of passing car tires. There was no way to avoid them.