One of the things I like best about the frogs is they make a fool of me on a regular basis. (If there’s one thing we honkies need more than anything, it’s a little humility.) The very first red-legged frog of the 2014-15 season, when I reached down to grab him, jumped straight between my legs. By the time I’d turned around he’d vanished into the leaves beside the road. (A fun metaphor from frogger David Craig in a blog for Portlandorbit (link): “Catching frogs wasn’t too hard. I figured out how to scoop them up and quickly became a kind of biologist short stop.”) I’d not thought of “fielding” frogs, but have had them jump into my cupped hands, reached out and caught them in midair, juggled them and caught them on the way down. One was riding a little stream along the curb on Harborton, so I reached down with cupped hands to field him, he stopped suddenly and leapt mightily over my hands, and disappeared, plunging neatly through the grating of a rain water drain. I could only hope he’d survive the wild ride through hundreds of feet of culvert that end on the far side of the highway with a ten foot drop onto big rocks.
Sometimes neighbors stop in their cars to chat and see how the frog catching is going. “Show me a frog!” Jennette exclaimed through her open window. I got a placid frog out of a bucket and went over to the car. The relaxed frog suddenly tensed and leapt into the car. Oh, NO! The places it could go! The elderly couple sitting there as spry as guardrails! The frog jumped in Jennette’s lap, she caught him and handed him over; disaster averted. A couple weeks ago I was riding down to the wild singing in the wetland with Maggie Rudy and a bucket full of treefrogs ready to join the chorus. A short way down the road a large frog was in the middle of our lane, waiting patiently for the bright light that’d suddenly found her to go away so she could continue her dark journey back to the forest. I jumped out of the car and caught her, a female we’d give a ride to the forest later. I sat in the passenger seat holding the relaxed frog. We only had a few hundred yards to go. My attention wandered from the frog in my hands (you’d think I’d learned my lesson by now), and the strong critter disappeared between the seat and the door beside me. Ahhhh! (I can hear Click and Clack laughing as they explain how to remove a dead frog from a vent.) We parked and looked everywhere for the frog, discovering that the bucket in back had fallen over and the chorus frogs were loose too! The tiny frogs appeared here and there for the next fifteen minutes but we never found the red-legged, Maggie gracious as always, through slightly gritted teeth.
Thanks to Sheilah Toomey for pointing out the Mt Hood “eruption” is in fact the projected shadow of the mountain. Here’s another example, this one taken February 10, at 7:15 AM, whereas the 2/3 image was taken at 7:25.