I spent some quiet time yesterday reflecting on the courage and sacrifice people have made for me and my family. We sure don't deserve it, but I am thankful soldiers put their life on the line to protect us.
In my puttering around I found FOUR baby oak trees growing in various flower beds. I've no idea how they got started in such random spots, but what a great surprise.
While walking along the path by the prairie at night I was dazzled by the fireflies. So many, so early. Between the fireflies in the fields and the stars in the sky my evening walk was well-lit.
All new stuff blooms right now, I have to get outside with my camera. Irises, various shrubs, daisies, columbine and coral bells. I am pleased to finally have fresh blooms all growing season. Back when I started gardening, I was a dolt about bloom seasons and had "dead" weeks in my flower beds.
We've got the most diversity ever in our yard since moving here. When we built our house, we built on an alfalfa field, so we had prolific amounts of alfalfa and flies. Now we have butterflies, fireflies, crickets, moths, beetles, worms and spiders. Robins, sparrows, finches, hummingbirds, cardinals, doves, crows, blackbirds and hawks circle and dart overhead. We've got so many snakes and frogs and toads--even a bullfrog the size of my fist lives by the sump pump hose on the side of the house. It's wicked loud outside this time of year, buzzing, chirping, humming. The catalog of species is enormous and it pleases me--a diverse ecosystem is strong and healthy. I'm proud to have helped replenish this corner of the planet. We steer clear of most chemicals, put out bird seed in the winter months, plant native species and have a "live and let live" attitude about nature.
This brings me to the frogs. For a week now a few frogs have been belting out their songs all night long and it's incredible how LOUD they are for such small critters. Truly miraculous how something barely two inches long requires us to shut our windows at night to get some sleep. Last night while I rambled, I peeked out a window where the frogs' song sounded the loudest. A tiny movement caught my eye. "I think I see it!" I exclaimed to Mr. D and I shuffled outside in bare feet down to the pool. Sure enough, by the light of the stars, moon and fireflies I saw two frogs, amplified by several decibels by their spot beside the pool, backed by a brick retaining wall and concrete floor. No wonder they sounded so loud--they'd picked the best spot for their song to carry. I tiptoed up to the first with a skimming net and captured it. The other frog jumped plop! into the pool.
I carried the first frog to safety beside my garden where a swamp of sump pump water would provide a good habitat--greenery, moisture, bugs and other frogs. Then I returned to the pool to find the other frog. Staring at the water's surface, I tried to spot any movement. Suddenly a ripple and I went after it with the net. He dove below the surface, a shadow of frog darting out of reach. Sure, I could let this frog spend the night in the pool, but the chlorine would kill him. I patiently waited for his froggy face to peek out of the water and each time he surfaced, I'd approach with the net. I played hide-and-seek with that darn frog for almost 7 minutes before I finally scooped him into the net and carried him to the vegetable garden/sump pump water swamp where I'd gently set down his froggy pal.
They spent the rest of the night echoing each other--croak! croak! but it was kind of quieter.
Nature sure is loud and busy. I'm loath to kill any of it, including frogs. Except for the tick crawling on Mr. G's arm this morning and the giant horsefly that flew into our house. I killed them without remorse.