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Mr. Ed

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An Earth Day Outing With My Dogs

 

 

“It's on our watch that amphibians are checking out;
I think we ought to be very concerned about that."
 
Garry Hamilton
 
 
To celebrate Earth Day yesterday, I took my faithful old dogs to a small wetland near our home. There’s a lovely little meadow nearby, and a small patch of woods which still very diligently guards this tiny old nature sanctuary for me.
 
The late April afternoon was wonderful – warm and sunny, with a delightful spring breeze. My dogs all romped and played in the wet grassy meadow, and I very leisurely sat watching them while listening to some very melodious birds in the trees.
 
But after awhile, I realized that something was definitely missing here. As we all now perched on the edge of this small wetland, I finally figured it out – there were no frog songs.
 
When I was a child, I used to visit this area quite often; and in the springtime, Frog Songs always filled the air here. I really liked listening to those Frog Songs, and it was here that I’d caught a few of my first pet frogs and turtles.
 
I would excitedly catch a few frogs and turtles, carefully place my tiny new friends in an old cardboard box, and rush home with them. My dear old grandmother would always let me use one of her sturdy old metal washtubs to provide them with a temporary home, and I would now feed them delectable bugs from her garden, and truly delight in their magnificent company.
 
But usually after a week or two, my mother would now insist that I take my new friends back to their original home. I, of course, would always grumble and groan, and my understanding father would solemnly drive me back to release them – “So long, little buddies – see you next time!”
 
As I perched at this now silent place with my dogs by my side yesterday, I realized that my first trip out here had been more than 50 years ago. And yesterday afternoon, I also realized how I now really missed those wondrous old Frog Songs. It just wasn’t the same here, without them.
 
Like so many other wild creatures today, the plight of Earth’s frogs is not a very good one. According to many scientists and biologists, up to half of the world’s 6,000 amphibian species are now in danger of extinction.
 
Today, Earth’s amphibians are being adversely affected by habitat loss, by climate change, by water and air pollution, by toxic chemical runoff from our factories and farms, and by a deadly new parasitic fungus.
 
And my childhood friend, the Frog, was once found just about everywhere on Earth, from the tropics all the way to the Arctic Circle.
 
Frogs live part of their lives in water, and part of it on land.  They readily absorb moisture, and they breathe through their skin.  But unfortunately for Frogs, their skin is also super-absorbent to deadly toxins and pollutants, and their tiny eggs are super thin, jelly like bubbles, which quickly absorb just about everything in their environment - both good and bad.
 
Consequently, the absence of Frogs in any pond or wetland today is a fairly good indicator of some type of air, water, or land pollution.
 
I could see that my dogs were now getting awfully thirsty after all their romping around, and now, I didn’t want them to drink any of the water here. So, we all sadly got back in my truck, and we headed home.
 
As I silently drove, I very sadly realized just how much I miss those wondrous old Frog Songs, and one day soon, children may never get to hear them at all.
 
 
©2009, Mr. Ed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reviewed by Ch'erie de Perrot 4/24/2009
Loved this Ed, and you're so right, they are diminishing. The pond down the road, was so revolting and polluted, Ole Jeremiah found his way up the road to our place, and to our pond. He's burrowed in for winter now, but when we thought we were moving, we were obliged to take up our pond "SNIFF SNIFF" anyway another is going in before the froggies a wooing go, :)
Can't lose our little colony now!!
Love Ch'erie
Reviewed by Carmen Ruggero 4/24/2009
This is so poignant. I saw a program just recently, about the dissapearance of coral. It's apparently due to global warming. As the water temperature rises, the algie that corals feed on dies, and concequently, coral is dissapearing. If that continues, it will be the end of the ocean. And the end of us.

Carmen
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 4/24/2009
Brother, more than 75 years ago we had an invasion of bullfrogs in town.
You won't believe the size of those creatures, but what's more was the different designs on their backs with colors that change as they moved towards the garden in search of insects.
I haven't see one since, have we exterminated them, if so why? they were harmless and kept our surroundings free of bugging pest.

Georg

Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 4/23/2009
thank you for this--i have noticed the same--my childhood was filled with catching frogs, salamanders, cayfish etc--
Reviewed by Felix Perry 4/23/2009
Good article and eye opening stuff Mr. Ed.

Fee
Reviewed by Michael Guy 4/23/2009
After reading this, I think the fish must be next in line. So similar. I know I don't want to live in a world where we have lovely waters and oceans to look out but they are not-so-mysteriously sterile and dead.

And in my Lake Kerr where I live I have paddled around in my kayak with my bass fishing tackle and you know I have never seen any sign of frogs - once a bass fisherman's favorite bait to imitate. I don't think the few bass would know what a frog lure was!

All I see are many minnows but they are small. The pH on this lake is very low, near 5.0 - natural cause or man-made I'm not sure yet. Obviously the water is clear but there are no buffers in the lake sediment like limestone here. Is acid rain everywhere?
Next time...mike
Reviewed by JASMIN HORST SEILER 4/23/2009
I hear you my friend, all is quiet now on the western front, another fifty years no more birds song either, if we last that long, and what really pisses me off, when I see some of the human scum we keeping alive so they have to die, we are feeding the wrong species me thinks on their backs, ach, I'm just mad, I have to be careful with my background I have, not, to go berserk ha.

P.S. I actually seen one big green frog on the path I walk last fall it was, I helped him into the green, before the ignoramuses would run over him with their bikes, beautiful big golden eyes he had, haven't seen any since, not one. Blessings! Jasmin Horst

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