Monday, April 14, 2008

Of Froggy Choruses and False Springs

Rather poetic, that - at least as far as alliteration goes.
Spring made a brief but enthusiastic appearance this weekend, bursting through gloomy weeks of cold wet rain and bumping the temperature up to almost eighty degrees. Sunshine for the Dali Lama, I think someone up there likes him. It also gave us poor Washingtonians just enough hope and vitamin D to make it through the next couple of months until summer. At least I hope it did. It's true that we generally get through the winters by ignoring the rain. We hike in it, we bike in it and a few of our more eccentric souls even wear shorts and sandals (with socks) in it. I didn't even own an umbrella until last year.
Speaking of water...our duck pond is full again, and the ducks have arrived. Mr. and Mrs. Howell, a handsome mallard couple, make a daily flight from their nest, up the length of the back yard, around the north side of the house (at eye level to the top floor) and splash down on our humble, over-grown, mud puddle a couple of times a day. At which point I open the front door with a squeak that they have come to recognize, and they waddle across the yard, muttering just like the Howell's from Gilligan's Island, to collect the crackers I've saved for them. Hopefully, later this spring, they will be joined by the rest of the crew, a group of rowdy male ducks I've dubbed the bachelors.
And the frogs are awake. During most of the year there is a single, sullen bullfrog. He sounds so lonely out there, calling for his friends. In late January the rest of the froggy chorus wakes up and joins him. From dusk 'till dawn they sing a different song every night. There must be dozens of them. Spring is definitely here, and if it's a tad wetter than normal, at least the neighbors don't seem to mind.

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