You know, there are many different things that determine what a safer yard is. It’s not just what we put on our yards that make it safer; sometimes it’s what we put in our yards that create a safer environment. Now, I am not just talking about products; I am talking about our landscapes and gardens. Your home should be a place to escape the daily rigors of a crazy world, and your gardens should be a place to relax and clear your head. One of the best benefits of an all natural organic garden is the critters! An all natural organic garden creates a safe environment for all sorts of fun and usually beneficial critters. You know, the usual birds, butterflies, lizards, geckos, snakes (preferably non-venomous!), and much more. But, today I am offering up a story of a very special night that Ms. Daisy and I shared in my backyard – a very special frog story!
After the radio show the Sunday before Memorial Day, Ms. Daisy and I decided to spend the afternoon working in our gardens. Like most Americans these days, money is “tight” and gas prices are crazy so let’s stay home and have fun in the yard. That evening it was time to relax and crank up the grill for the brats and burgers. We sat outside as the sun fell in the west and night time was slipping in.
Now let me tell you that five years ago I installed an all natural water garden strategically located off our patio and right under the bedroom window. There is nothing better than going to sleep and waking up in the morning to the sound of running water. All my pond constructions have rocks, fish, and plants working together to create their own little ecosystem. Not to mention the perennial flowers all around it to attract numerous birds and butterflies. So over the years our pond has attracted many different critters. That’s half the fun of having a backyard water garden. The sounds and life create quite the relaxing environment that Ms. Daisy and I need after a long day. Now the pond has always had the music of a few frogs, which we love. But, tonight was going to be a very different night!
As the day turned to night we hear a deep croak coming from the pond. It was different from the other frog songs that we have heard in the past. As we sat there we began to hear a few more from different parts of the pond. Our pond is only 8’ by 10’ with a two foot high waterfall, so obviously it’s not very big. I decided to get up and creep up quietly towards the pond to see if I could catch a glimpse at what was singing to us. There it was sitting on a rock at the edge of the water – chin all puffed out cranking out quite a tune. I hollered at Ms. Daisy to go get the flashlight so we could spot this guy better. By the time she got to the pond with the flash light I had already spotted three more frogs singing till their hearts’ content. I was cautious at first with the light thinking I might scare them off. Not the case though – these guys were on a mission! We first spotted two or three big ones moving around, and then there were four, then five! Oh my, how many can there be? At one point we counted fourteen males and we think three or four females. These guys were putting on one awesome frog song and dance show for Ms. Daisy and me. How lucky we are!
The frogs were constantly moving around and repositioning themselves in a new location for another verse to their song. All the time Ms. Daisy and I have the spotlight on them making each and everyone a star for a few minutes! Then on the far side of the pond we spotted one of the little guys on the move. “Looks like he headed to the top of the falls”, I said. Sure enough, all of the sudden he pops through the daylilies to the flagstone shelf above the waterfall. Sitting there all proud, spotlight on him he begins his solo to us. Best song of the night we thought, but how could he possibly top that? Well, guess what…he capped off his performance with a beautiful frog hopping dive to the middle of the pond! Ms. Daisy and I could do nothing else but give a standing ovation and head in for the night.
We lay in bed with the frog song so loud it was actually difficult to go to sleep. We talked about how lucky we were to witness such a wonderful event. We went out the next night for an encore performance, but evidently it was a one night stand. A couple came out to sing to us but the entire choir took the night off! That day I went to the internet to find out what kind of frog we were listening to. Turns out it was not a frog at all but an American Toad! I did not know that toads sang so load. We are now blessed throughout the summer with the song of our toads, leopard frogs and tree frogs.
You know life offers all sorts of special moments, and I know that because our garden areas are “all natural”, with no toxic chemicals, is the reason we got to witness the frog song and dance. Just another reason to convert to organics, and always remember to slow down, stop and smell the flowers, and enjoy all the little things life has to offer.