Save the Frogs! And a bit 'bout our other wild critters
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 2:48 PM [+]
I had noticed earlier in Spring that the volume and depth of our frog song seemed a tad (pole) underwhelming. I kept waiting for it to get louder (and maybe it yet will?) But when I heard THIS news I began to worry a little. We are surrounded by wetlands and the last thing we need is to lose a primary insect predator. (I did see the bats out last night...glory to God for the bats!) You'll note how they initially blamed global warming - of course (I'm certain there is a global warming SOP out there that demands as much) - and now that seems less likely, but I'm sure the initial reports will remain in the public conscience. If history has shown us anything its that "plague happens."
Anyway, my kids had long ago collected tadpoles in order to watch them develop. We used to have tons of them, but I made the kids release most of them back into the pond/swamp. Now I am wondering if I shouldn't have kept them and tried to raise them...it almost seems that the tadpoles we have left might be the only ones around, and I'm rather certain they are all from the same egg cluster so I'm not sure they are going to effectively reseed our area if indeed we've been hit by the fungus. So...we wait to see.
I'm rather sure I have talked about our friend the Douglas Squirrel before. The girls have named one of the locals "Chippy-jumpy-almost-fall" and he apparently lives in the cedar right outside our front door, in close proximity to the bird feeders where we keep him supplied with peanuts and sunflower seeds. In actuality there are at least two of these guys running about, so I'm not sure we are ever able to tell them one from another. Their little chirping has on more than one occasion woke me up, but aside from such times they are quite adorable. (You can hear a soundbyte of them on this page HERE.) City folk here in the Northwest are hard pressed to see a Douglas Squirrel because the non-native Eastern Gray Squirrels have driven them almost entirely into the mountains and rural regions. Thankfully the Eastern Grays have not made it over to our peninsula.
John Muir's account of his meeting Douglas Squirrels can be read HERE (thanks to previously mentioned Wikipedia article) and having myself gotten to know "Chippy-jumpy-almost-fall" I cannot help but smile while reading about Mr. Muir's experiences. May Chippy's tribe increase, indeed!
No bears yet this year. Coyotes seemed to have quieted down. Birds aplenty. Deer all around, but never on our property - I think the dogs keep them at bay. Skeeters aplenty...but as I said, like Gandalf riding over the hill and down toward Helm's Deep, so have our bats arrived, albeit with the setting of the sun.