Posted tagged ‘frogs’

“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.”

October 13, 2014

No jumping out of bed into the shower this morning, not with the house at 61˚. I was cozy under the comforter, but I should have realized how cold the house was as Gracie was leaning on me on one side and Fern was leaning on the other. The house is now 68˚ so I have turned off the heat. It is supposed to get warmer starting today.

Columbus Day was really yesterday. I used to get it off from school every year unless it happened to be a Sunday. Back then holidays stayed put.

Kids grow up believing in all sorts of stuff. I believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. I knew there were ghosts and witches and men with hooks instead of hands. Tinker Bell was real because she used to fly over the field below my house with her light blinking as she flew. Most times she was with a bunch of friends. I was easily amazed by the world around me. I loved watching the yellow and black caterpillars walk on a tree limb, and I knew they’d be butterflies some day. I watched the progression of tadpoles into frogs at the swamp. I got to go behind the scenes at the zoo because my brother and I befriended a zoo keeper. I fed some of the animals, even the elephant. I never tired of watching the cows at the dairy farm or the horses running in the field near my house. Life was filled to the brim with adventure and wonder.

When I got older, a teenager, my friends and I had the best fun. We celebrated Mardi Gras, sneaked food upstairs into the library, left school early with permission from the addled nun who taught the class, bowled, played miniature golf, went to the drive-in and had hay rides in the fall. We even went square dancing once. They were all adults but they decided to let us stay. It was so much fun to learn to do-si-do. The world wasn’t as filled with wonder, but I was having too much fun to notice.

College was so many things. It was great friends, a lot of partying and classes here and there. I loved college, but it too lacked that sense of wonder I had as a kid. I’d figured the older we all got, the fewer wonders there were to see. I can’t believe how wrong I was.

I know it was Africa where I found my lost sense of wonder. The people, the colors, the languages, the markets, the night sky were all amazing. Everywhere I went I saw something new, something remarkable. I learned again to look at the world with wide eyes.

I am still filled with that sense of wonder. It’s like a huge gift which never stops giving. I notice everything and stop sometimes along the road to get an eyeful, to fill my soul with all the beauty I can see. Sometimes it is as simple as a marsh with tall reeds or geese flying in formation. It is so wonderful having that kid back!

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“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”

April 29, 2014

Today is a stay at home and be comfortable sort of day. It’s cold and, surprise, surprise, it’s cloudy. The errands got finished yesterday and the bird feeders were filled. I added cayenne pepper to the seeds in the big one, the one the red spawn loves. This morning he was at a smaller feeder, the one with a cage around it. I ran out and he was stuck for just a bit in the cage. He panicked and was gone in a heartbeat. Maybe that cage will keep him away.

Speaking of rodents, there have been no more mice in the trap. I’m still at two in the trap and one in the washing machine.

I don’t remember seeing critters when I was a kid. I remember bugs the most. My favorites were the grasshoppers. In the field, every step I took disturbed a grasshopper who leapt into the air then landed back down into the tall grass. Sometimes I’d run through the field just to watch the grasshoppers leap one after the other almost like a choreographed show. At the swamp we watched the tadpoles morph into frogs. We’d lie at the edge of the swamp on our stomachs and watch the tadpoles dart through the water. Their dark bodies were easy to see and follow. Sometimes I’d poke a finger into the water just to watch all of the tadpoles scatter. Mostly I remember their tails and how those tails disappeared over time through the spring into the summer. My favorite part of the cycle was when they still had tails but looked like frogs in their upper bodies. They could have been from a black and white 50’s science fiction movie when giant bugs and oversized creatures destroyed cities and ate people. My favorite bug of all was the praying mantis. It was neat looking with those forelegs which always reminded me of a fighter ready to box. I watched one for a long time once from the front steps to the garden. It hid in the plants and caught and ate a moth. I was delighted.

Once in a while, while we were riding in the car, we’d see a deer in a field near the side of the road. The first one to see it would always yell deer and point so we wouldn’t miss it. We had Weiss Dairy Farm in our town, and I loved going by it to see the cows in the field or in the corrals. I don’t remember ever seeing a skunk or a possum amble through the yard. I never even noticed they were missing.

Around here I have seen wild turkeys, coyotes, deer, foxes, possums and raccoons. The pond at the end of the street has spring peepers. I can already hear their calls. I wonder if there are tadpoles yet.

“How dreary – to be – somebody! How public – like a frog – to tell your name – the livelong June – to an admiring bog!”

June 12, 2011

The day is a mean one-the rain has left a damp chill. It’s a stay in, read all the papers and watch the ballgame sort of day. I may even sneak in a nap.

Everything is still. No wind blows the leaves. The pouring rain of yesterday has cleared the pollen. The yellow is finally gone. Now only a few drips from the roof disturb the silence.

Ants are in my kitchen. I found a couple in the sink. I figured they were advance scouts for the rest of the army. The traps have been set. The ants’ days are numbered.

The last couple of days have been uneventful. I’m probably jinxing myself by saying that, but I’ll take the chance.

My very favorite vacation when I was a kid was in Vermont. We were so far up state my parents went to a town in Canada for dinner. I love the beach, but I don’t love salt water. It makes my skin dry and itchy. In Vermont we were on a lake. It was filled with fish, and I could see them just off shore where the bottom dropped and the water got really deep. I don’t open in my eyes in the salt water, but I do in a lake. I could see all the fish darting out of my way as I swam underwater. My hand seemed to move in slow motion when I reached toward the fish. Some were really small and some were middle sized. I have no idea what kind they were. I knew catfish from the pond near our house where my brother often fished, but I didn’t know the names of any others. All I knew was they were really fast.

We traipsed through the dense pine woods, went frog hunting in the stream which ran parallel to the house and swam every day. I loved that vacation, and I’d do most of it again. I think I’d just eliminated the frog hunting. They’re too slimy for me now.