Call Of The Tree Frog

Bottoms Up
Breathe. The swans are getting restless. Some stay resident, but many migrate northward in spring. The sight of them in flight and the sound of their clear loud calls are unforgettable.

Last night the light of the waning half-moon glowed through an overcast which continued to rain. This morning the precipitation had ended, here at least. The day seemed bright despite the overcast, perhaps in contrast to days of deep gloom. Doggies and I went for a walk in a local park named Hemer, after a local farming family who donated the land. It is a delightful network of trails sprawling through second-growth forest which blankets broken ground sprawling between a few small lakes and swamps.

Cornered. Some last spawners of the season take a rest before their final hurdle.

Today the woods reverberated with the peculiar croinking grunt of tree frogs. I have spent many hours through the years stalking these tiny reptiles. I have yet to see one. As you approach the apparent source of their call, they fall silent. You dare not move or make a sound if you want to hear them call again. It is a waiting game which I invariably loose. No matter how hard I methodically scan the branches, trunks, leaves and plants I never see one.

(This video clip may take a while to download)

Tree Frog seg

For those who can’t wait for the 2 minute download, here is a still shot of where I recorded the frogs. This is all second-growth forest.
A fir, a cedar and a maple. Original old-growth trees. The fir, on the left, is about eight feet in diameter.

It’s frustrating. I love their call and how they herald the distant spring. Today there was yet another loud proclamation of the changing season. Through the echoing woods, from over a mile away, the roar of sea lions filtered over the distance. They inhabit the log booms just north of Dodd Narrows and have come to await the arrival of the annual herring migration. Those fish come here to spawn in the spring, according to their own mysterious timing. Like a symphony orchestra everthing is on the same page, playing its part perfectly and right on time. We’ve just got to sit back and enjoy the music instead of trying to be the conductor. Da da dum!

Done! The wonderful colours of this Cyclamen have cheered us through the autumn and winter. Now it’s a time for a rest.
Dos Amigos, deep in the woods.
Back at the ranch.
Too wet to plow.
Hemer Brook
Look up. Little dog, big trees.
Common Mergansers. They are reclusive and very hard to photograph.

The winter gloom of another rainy overcast provides almost enough light to take photographs that are often unfocused because of the low light and slow shutter speeds. Colours are drab but we do our best. Photography is a way of forcing myself to take an interest in the world around me. No matter how dismal, there is beauty and an effort to reach out for life. It is a deep mystery at times, but sometimes you have to accept things you do not understand. Bloom where you’re planted. Shed a little light in someone else’s eyes and you’ll find some for yourself.

Roots drawing life from a long-fallen mother log
Overflow filtration.
Winter Swamp, where the bog trotter roams.
Here too
Rush to the sea, a mile away. Through the trees filters the distant calls of a mob of sea lions.
A suggestion box? Looks like someone has emptied it. They must have had a ladder.
The ten horsepower dog. He’ll be big when he grows up! To gauge his size, note the footprint beside him. He is tethered simply with a string. A lovely character indeed.

If you know you can do it, why go in the first place? ” Iohan Guearguiev

Author: Fred Bailey

Fred is a slightly-past middle age sailor / writer / photographer with plenty of eclectic hands-on skills and experiences. Some would describe him as the old hippy who doesn't know the war is over. He is certainly reluctant to grow up and readily admits to being the eternal dreamer. He has written several books including two novels, 'The Keeper' and 'Storm Ecstasy,' as well as 'The Water Rushing By', 'Sins Of The Fathers', 'The Magic Stick', as well as an extensive inventory of poetry, essays, short stories, anecdotes and photographs. His first passion is the ocean, sailboats, voyaging and all those people who are similarly drawn to the sea. He lives aboard 'Seafire' the boat he is refitting to go voyaging, exploring new horizons both inner and outer. This blog is about that voyage and the preparations for it. In spite of the odds against it, the plan is to sail away this fall and lay a course southward. If you follow this blog your interest may provide some of the energy that helps fuel the journey. Namaste Contact him at svpaxboat@gmail.com

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