Blah Blah Blah · Monkeys

Amphibious Life

We live on a river.  I mean, we’re on the 4th floor of a low-rise condo, so we’re not really in danger of flooding or anything, but still, I can leave my front door and be on the bank of the river in about 45 seconds.  It’s actually only overflowed its banks once in the 5 years we’ve lived here, and that was this winter when we had about 4 feet of snow that melted during a major rain storm – so not only did the rain hit the river, but also 4 feet of melting snow.  I mean, really.  What’s a river to do?  Even then, it was nowhere near even flooding our parking lot; it just turned our trail into a little side creek.  I really like living so close to the river – we have a nice walking trail that goes along it, and the woods and water are just peaceful.  The drunk transients who leave their beer cans behind are not so charming, but you take the good with the bad, right?

One thing that I really, really love about being on the river is the wildlife.  I’ve seen deer – bucks and does and fawns.  I’ve seen your garden variety possums and groundhogs and raccoons.  I’ve seen snakes, though not a poisonous one yet (thank goodness – the Monkey would joyfully leap at anything that moved before I could stop him).  I’ve seen a fox or two.  I even suspected a bobcat once at night when I couldn’t see well and it took off before I even knew something was there, but it was about the size and shape of a bobcat from what I could tell.  And the bugs!  Our first year here, I saw a praying mantis as big as my FOREARM.  And that is not an exaggeration.  We’ve also got lots of spiders and dragonflies, which bother me not at all as long as they stay outside, lots of gnats and mosquitoes, which can go to hell, and lots of frogs.  Or toads.  Or both.  I never did get very good at telling the difference between the two, so lots of hoppy amphibians.

I’ve taken to playing a little game this year when I walk the Monkey on his 11 pm walk.  I count the frogs (or toads).  This is a short walk, mind you, around the sidewalks of a pretty much fully occupied, busy condo building.  My highest count so far this year is 20.  Last night I only got to 15, but I did bring my camera along for some photos.

I took about 10 pictures of this guy, and he never moved.
This is by far my favorite picture of the night.
I'm going to go ahead and say this is a toad. Ugly enough, yes?
Frog party!

There was also a HUGE dragonfly buzzing around the light in the breezeway when I was coming inside, but my camera battery died just as I got it positioned so that I might snap a photo without horrid glare from the light itself.  Oh well.  Perhaps you’ll get a huge dragonfly photo another day.  Anybody else kinda like the creepy-crawlies?

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