Friday, March 18, 2011

Fog and Frogs

Wednesday, March 16, 7 a.m.
Wednesday morning I woke at 7 and was very excited to find the world outside pressing against the windows. Fog. I do love fog. I padded down the hall, picked up my camera and took a couple of pictures, knowing that when I woke up again later in the morning, it should be gone. (It's Rich's spring break, so I get to sleep in, too!) And a couple of hours later, the morning was as bright and sunny as if this fog had never happened.

I've written lately about how the air has been smelling different lately: alive with mud and growth. That statement is even truer today. After two warm and mostly sunny days, today is cloudy. Rain is in the air, but closer to the ground, the air is full of so much life. Flies. Lots of flies. And those Asian Lady Beetles that sought refuge in the house are almost all awake now, trying to get out the windows. And bees. Yesterday I saw two red and black wasps scouting for a new home. Lots of little dirt spiders. And the air has another quality to it now, something harder to identify. Fuller. Two of our trees put forth red flower buds overnight. I hadn't even realized they were the same type of tree until working beneath them yesterday and realizing they bear the same flowers. The lilacs are putting forth leaves. Wild onion and garlic are everywhere, providing two of my favorite scents.

For parts of the past two days, we've been working in the yard. Moving rocks to repair borders, or create new ones. Thinning out some of the rocks in some of the beds so we can plant more herbs and flowers close to the house. Raking up dead leaves and discovering more bulbs growing. It's been fun, heavy work. And we've been working to a singular soundtrack: frogs. Late last summer I learned what frogs sound like (I'd never really heard them before), but there were so many birds and insects making noise that it was sometimes hard to single out a frog sound. But that is not a problem right now. Even though there are a lot of birds around, and the flocks of blackbirds that hang out in the yard are very loud, the frogs have become a constant sound. Last night was particularly striking. On the south side of the house I could hear coyotes howling in the distance, and nearer, dogs barking. But as I rounded the house, there, slightly to the northeast, in the direction of our pond: frogs. Multiple voices, many different sounds. But all frogs. It is a sound I can't really describe adequately in words. Luckily, Rich walked down to the pond yesterday and recorded them in all their amphibian symphonic glory.

It is now noon. A thunderstorm has crept up on the late morning, black to the southwest. Perhaps only thunder can overshadow the sound of the frogs...