Sunday, June 12, 2011

Frogs on the House

When I reached for the front door handle the other evening, I almost put my thumb on a little frog. He was sitting quite comfortably on the small flat area of the handle, facing outward, and entirely unconcerned that a big giant human had almost squished him. I hate to admit to any type of sissy behavior but the unexpected eyes staring at me from the normally inert door handle made me jump. Once I realized it was only a little frog, I came closer to look at him. He was so cute. He remained on the door handle as I came and went several times that evening, but he was gone the next day. He left a calling card on the handle for me, thank you very much. I hope he avoided the chickens. They would eat him - with gusto.

I think he was a tree frog but I honestly do not know. I assume he was a frog because I do not think toads can climb. Once each summer, I see a little frog on the front window pane at night. Round toe pads keep him stuck to the glass. The lights in the house draw an infinite number of insects to all the windows. It is amazing how many insects there are out here in the prairie. It seems there should be far more frogs because there is clearly enough food for an army of them. But I only ever see one and I like to think it is the same frog each year.

Another reptile that always startles me (I even screamed a little in front of my neighbor Friday night) is the skink that lives in the hay at the barn. If I move a bale, the thing scrambles away with a very icky exaggerated wriggling that sets off the snake alarms in my nervous system. Once my brain catches up with my reflexes I feel a bit silly for freaking out over a little harmless skink, but I simply cannot help it.

No snakes yet this year, though I have seen them on the roads already. When my neighbor and I were moving bales out of my barn into her truck, and forking up the loose hay, I was sure we were going to uncover one or more of those huge prairie snakes that live in and around the barn. I usually only see their tails as they slide silently away from all the commotion. They do not like to see me any more than I like to see them. I do like it a lot that our paths seldom cross. If a little frog makes me jump, and a skink makes me scream, you can imagine the seizure a snake sighting causes. I seem to be hardwired to be afraid of snakes and there is nothing I can do about it.


cyberkit said...

Amen. Your preaching to the choir, sister Jackie!

Li'l Ned said...

Yeah, I too confess to the jump factor. Though I like snakes quite well, and adore frogs ...... I like to approach them on my own terms and with full expectation of their presence. I am so glad you didn't squish the wee frog. It seems frogs and other amphibians are some of the earliest canaries in the world coal mine, and are diminishing worldwide. We need more frogs, not fewer. I treasure the sound of Mr. Frog, who has resided in the rotting outside wall of my sunporch for more than 10 years now. Surely it can't be the same little guy?

Jackie said...

I don't know enough about frogs to tell if it is feasible that the little frog who sticks himself on the front of my house every year is the same guy or not, but it seems like it is since he is usually in the same position each time I see him. Except for the 1 square inch of space where he was sitting on the door handle... I agree, we need more frogs!!