About a week ago, it hit over 75 degrees outside one afternoon.
Then it rained.
Then the fog rolled in.
And then came the frogs.
It's an annual rite of passage--the frogs that went into hibernation in the fall come burrowing out of the mud and moss, and make a beeline for whatever body of water is closest. In the case of our yard, the closest body of water is a small pond about fifty yards from our house. That night, I went outside armed with a flashlight and my camera, theoretically just to snap a few quick pictures along the driveway (they're easiest to spot on the dirt, harder to see in the grass alongside it) and then to get back inside, since I'd been at work/at the hospital with my dad since 8 AM.
I wound up staying outside for over an hour. Because literally, every 5-10 feet, I'd find another one. It was like magic, or a horror movie, depending on your level of comfort with slithery things. Me, I'm quite comfortable with them.
I'd first noticed them when I was driving home from the hospital that night--little things jumping across the asphalt, catching in the headlights...I don't think I drove over 10 mph all the way home, I can't bear driving over the little buggers if I don't have to.
I'm the same way with turtles and garter snakes--if I see one crossing the road, I pull over if I can and try to whisk them across to the other side, to hurry them along to their destination. Ugh, especially the turtles, those poor things don't stand a chance anymore, the way people drive.
And it wasn't just frogs & toads out that night--the salamanders were bustin' out, too.
This has been going on for as long as I can remember. But this year, having been gone for over four years to a dry, dry place where I never saw a single frog, let alone dozens of them at once, the whole ritual felt new all over again.
You should hear them croaking at night--loud enough that it comes through the walls of our house. Amazing.