The horse's pasture to the East...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE GREAT FROG HUNT or Terraforming Ness Style

Rain! And frogs, thousands of frogs of all types. Under the doors, through the tiny holes torn through the screens by our determined barn cats and under the ancient foundations of our converted barn\house. And with the frogs comes the GREAT FROG HUNT.

The frogs follow the ants, ancient visitors who leave trails through my violated kitchen. Over the years I've learned to put everything in to jars with tight lids, in the refrigerator, or sitting in bowls of water. The water works until the wiley little devils figure out how to build a bridge with their bodies to get to their objective, usually the open bowl of food for my cats. (Cats have their own timeline, eat on a schedule that suits them. One never tells a cat what to do!)

We have our own little ecology going on here, inside our ancient rehabbed barn of a house. The dogs follow the cats who are fascinated with the frogs. The frogs are there for the ants, the ants come to visit every Spring to get away from the soggy ground and to find the floating bowl of cat food and the candy canes I forgot were in the back of the pantry. (Which, of course, makes the horses part of it since peppermint candy canes are in the "horse crack" category.) You might call it terraforming Ness Style. Not the way most people live but then we're not exactly traditional either. 

There's a bizarre split in my personality; the Designer Chic who has been published in two Conde Nast publications, winning awards for interior design, jurying shows, owning the largest design center and art gallery in Lawrence, and the Fading Hippy Artist who runs around in the middle of the night taking pictures of frogs, laughing at the places they take Apple and fascinated with lines of ants crawling through the kitchen. I kind of think I favor the Hippy Artist this year. She is ever so much more interesting, more liable to laugh at the uncontrollable events in my life. And, I promise you, ants and frogs are like cats. They have their own schedules, live in a time frame foreign to humans and dominate with numbers. 

We'd had two days of rain, lovely nonstop Spring rains. The frogs choruses were so loud they made the windows rattle. We live on a Preserve. Field Biologists come out just to study the phenomena that our frogs are. In an ailing world where animal populations are falling, we stand out. Living here is a gift and I never forget to say Thank You for it. 

Something woke me up, not unusual for me. I am experienced insomniac. I sleep less than most people so being up when others sleep is a normal pastime for me. I was being careful not to turn on lights or make noise. John needs his sleep. But walking down the hallway was more of an adventure than I expected it to be. A frog, leaping from one perch to another, decided I was a reasonable mid point. It landed on my forehead and I landed on one of the cats when I jumped. Apple ran in to save the hissing, screeching cat ( a reasonable response since I was standing on her tail ) while I jumped in to the wall doing my own imitation of a hissing, screeching cat! John was no longer asleep. He was now standing in the hallway with his baseball bat in hand, ready to defend my honor from the poor hapless frog who was smashed against my forehead, the screeching, hissing cat, the barking dog and me, going in to my best Chi Akido stance and letting out a power shout.

When I flicked on the lights, there were frogs everywhere! I ran for my camera, the dog ran for the cat, John stood there trying to get his bearings and I took pictures. It was past two in the morning and I was laughing so hard I couldn't see to get the shots. John put the bat away and tried to go back to bed (he's used to my middle of the night wanderings) but there were a few logistical issues because there were frogs in the bed. So while he, in his quiet, accepting Zen way, walked outside with handfuls of frogs and sheets to shake off, I kept shooting. There were lines of ants on the counters, frogs sitting there picking them off, frogs on the walls, furniture and going in and out of the screens I had left open for the cool, Spring breezes. 

Apple and the cats were on THE HUNT and so were the frogs and ants. Oh yeah. We live a primitive life style out here on the Prairies. 

I love Spring! It turns around so quickly here, sometimes in days. Things are blooming after the rains, ants and frogs are on their yearly trek through the middle of our house and life is good!

I am so glad we chose a small life, a simple life. I wouldn't trade our frog and ant nights for big houses and fine design even if the choice was there. 

I am, ever yours, Nancy, head back and laughing at the way things go.  

PS> Had to tell you. Stoney had a major breakthrough yesterday. He allowed me to brush all the way down his back legs and to clean his sheath, while grooming him. And he was so relaxed he stood there eating hay while I did it! HUGE! (Told you it was a balance, that horses somehow always become part of the equation. )

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