A Sense of Place – Spring ponds

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This is the second in a series of stories about places where we connect to the Earth. Where our hearts are open and the sound of the earth becomes our sound.
In the previous posting, Dale Antonsen shared his story about the land at Big Woods State Park. To read his beautiful story and see his photos  go to:

www.oldnaturalist.com/a-journey-of-wonder-and-awe-at-the-big-woods-state-park/

To experience my sense of place open up your windows at night and let the trilling of the toads seep into your bones. When I hear that call, I know it is time to don my waders and find the nearest pond.

Trilling of the Toads

American Toads began calling in mid April this year

When I am within 10 feet of a singing toad, I can feel the vibration of its call going into my body.

Gray tree frog resting on cattails (notice suction cup toes).

When I  first enter a pond, there is an adjustment period that occurs. I feel unsteady, and wonder if  I am going fall into the muck. The toads and chorus frogs stop calling, wary of my intrusion into their aquatic home.
Then I see a tree frog hiding in the cattails, a lonely chorus frog starts calling at the other end of the pond. A primeval feeling creeps into my body.

 

 

 

 

The rawness of nature is in that pond. You can’t feel it unless you physically enter the water. This is when the magic occurs. I become another pond dweller and the creatures that are there return to the business of mating.

An American Toad orgy. Males on males. Males on females. Hormones unleashed.

 

 Leopard frogs hang by the edge of pond. They are the jumping kings of the frog world.

Leopard frog rests on the shoreline.

Leopard frog mating call

 

Chorus frogs are about the size of a stone. They can be calling all around me and I can not see them until I  finally enter their world and am not just an observer from the outside.

A chorus frog calling in early spring

 

Wood frogs are early visitors to the pond. When they are at the height of their mating season, the hormones are raging. I have had them approach me, trying to protect the territory that they have established.

Wood frog calling with inflated calling sacs on it abdomen.

Their call is extremely unique, reminding me of a flock of chickens.

This is the place where I feel the most connect to nature. 

If you would like to share your story, where you feel the closest to nature, send me your text and photos. It may one or two paragraphs or an entire posting.
larrywade16@gmail.com

 

 

 

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