Thursday, August 9, 2012


August 9, 2012

Thanks for the advice and information about mattresses.  No, I haven't followed up yet.  Yes, I will bubble it up to the top, hopefully soon.  That means I'm still open to suggestions if you have them.

My planned entry today was called "Doors of Taos."  I had planned an artistic and quirky exploration of the photos I took on vacation last year (that I recently re-discovered), showing how much more imagination some people have about their front portals than I do.

If my Mac App store sends me my password, meaning I can log on and download a free collage-maker photo app, and if I can figure out how to use it, that entry might yet be forthcoming.

However, since that little chore is shaping up like so many other small, but cranky tasks on my to-do list (that is, to do something that will take four minutes requires 114 minutes of something else--updating software, sitting on hold, waiting in line, or balancing on one foot swinging a paper bag around my head, and screaming like a chicken), I will have to slope towards a different, less artsy, but still quirky topic.

"Death to the Tyrants.  Death to the Frogs."

Yes, this this Willie's new theme song.  For years, my mom and I have worried about the Leisure Lake frog and toad population.  What was once an expanding and robust part of the local ecosystem--thanks to a Master Naturalist recording, we could identify multiple varieties on our walk around the lake, including, of course bullfrogs who would boom warnings of impending rain and cricket frogs who would imitate insect voices as we walked by--started dwindling a few years ago.  We even stopped seeing flat frog victims in the road, a definite sign of either smarter or fewer frogs in the area.

This spring and summer have reversed that trend.  Twenty-one inches of rain by the end of March plus an unexpected four and a half inches in July have swelled the froggy numbers.  Willie, intrepid hunter that he is, has discovered the passion of frog stalking and trapping.  It certainly helps that I never made it to the flower beds to weed this summer--re-creating the grassy high-veld of his forefathers in southern Zambabwe (Rhodesia).

He traps the frogs under his hammerlike paw than carries them around in his mouth until they wiggle away.  I'm not sure what benefits accrue. . . perhaps frog pee refreshes?  Anyway, this morning, as I was launching Maximillian in his row boat, Willie was directing the equivalent of the Fort Stockton Water Carnival on the shore.  Each frog dived into the lake in sequence, synchronized just like the opening act of an Esther Williams movie or maybe more like this:

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