I’m sick of it.
Sick of the cold.
The raw rain and dreary damp.
I’m sick of it all.
I just stumbled upon a folder full of yard photos I’d taken over the past couple of years, and it put me in the mood for summer.
Because I sure as hell have had enough of this:
And I don’t want any more nights like this:
No more mornings like this:
No more days waiting for the snow to melt.
And waiting some more…
Nope. I want summer.
I want to see the Earth stretch and yawn and blossom.
I want to see little things growing in all the wrong places.
And little things crawling in hidden spaces.
I want to see big things pecking.
And I want my frogs and toads back…
Barish found the little guy pictured above one summer while he was engaged in his absolute favorite activity: pulling weeds.
“Dad!” He called from the patio. “Come look at this toad! It’s really cool! Come on…check it out!”
I grabbed my camera and went to see what all the fuss was about. “Eh, what’s the hubbub, bub?” His blank stare informed me that my Looney Tunes reference had fallen on ignorant ears.
“Wow, that is cool!” I said.
What The Boy had found was a Gray Tree Frog, not a toad. We usually have hundreds of these guys around our property. They breed in our pond and grace us with several large gooey egg sacs each spring. I love these frogs, but they drive me nuts during mating season with their incessant and intrusive pleas for sex. For a couple of weeks each spring, usually during the best nights to sleep with the windows open, legions of these sex-starved amphibians take to the airwaves just outside our bedroom window to demand relations with the fairer sex. Hear for yourself:
Now multiply that sound by 100, and you’ll have a sense of what it’s like trying to sleep in the spring and early summer around here.
What I love about Gray Tree Frogs is their ability to camouflage themselves. I’ve seen countless hundreds wearing green, but only a few wearing white like the one above. The first white ones I found were in the swimming pool – two dead and one alive. I thought they had succumbed to chlorine bleaching and poisoning. I treated the survivor like a burn victim, gently transporting him to the healing waters of the koi pond.
He was probably wondering why the hell I was taking him away from his morning constitutional.
The Gray Tree Frogs are all well and good, but my favorite summertime sound comes from my favorite summertime creature – the American Toad. These guys are more elusive. They live out in the woods at the edge of our property. When they sing for sex, it sounds like an army of aliens has surrounded our house. I love it. They are far enough away that the noise doesn’t disturb. It’s just a beautiful, soothing, alien drone. Have a listen below:
As I said before, I’m done with the cold.
I’m done with this relentless winter that keeps throwing snowballs, long after the fight has ended.
I’m ready for long days and warm nights. I’m ready for bugs and birds and bats.
And I’m ready for this:
I’m even ready for this:
What are your favorite sounds of summer? What are your favorite summertime creatures? How about your least favorite? Share them in the comments below, and let’s get in the mood for summer!