• Dale Bowman

Chariots of Fire, poking ears & plague of frogs: Ramble with the Lady

At first I did not believe my ears. Afterall, why would bullfrogs be croaking along the main rail tracks east of town.

But there was no mistaking it as Lady and I rambled back from the wilds of the town pond and back to the edge of town. We have so much water puddled all around us that there was no doubt about it, bullfrogs have set up along the edge of the tracks.

Water. There is no avoiding it. It has simply been a fact of our lives in a multitude of ways for weeks now.

And I think it has to do with the plethora of rabbits. I am not suggesting that rabbits are aquatic animals. No, just that the small mammals have much more cover and are better able to avoid predators with all the rains force feeding rapid growth of vegetation.

Speaking of aquatic animals or mammals, I busted up laughing a few days ago when we crossed the bridge over the neckdown between the two old clay pits and a small rabbit bolted from us and ran along the edge of the water on the south pit and sprayed like the runners in the opening scene of Chariots of Fire.

BTW, I forgot how incredibly syrupy the theme song to Chariots of Fire was. Good God, hearing it again, I wanted to poke my ears out.

As to rabbits, Lady, our family's mutt, and i spotted the first one before we even made the corner as we rambled off this morning. Then a half-grown one sprinted under a car at the garage downtown. Another sat near the ballfield on the edge of town.

As has been usual for a couple weeks now, nearly a dozen mourning doves whistle-fluttered off from picking grit or something by the side rail separating our town from the wildness of the town pond. I wonder if it is related to the high water puddled there.

But what makes no sense is that most mornings, squirrels are mixed in with the doves. This morning there were two squirrels. One of them was the nearly black one with a reddish tail, the one that looks like a muskie bait.

Another rabbit bolted from the grassy area before the bridge.

Bullfrogs croaked deeply around both pits. All the Canada geese families were swimming on the south pit. A pair waddled off late from their grazing and crapping on the east side as Lady and I came down.

As we came back to the edge of town and I heard the bullfrogs, I also saw half a dozen doves whistle-flutter off from the grit area by the elevators.

The rain, which was just ending, tamped down activity this morning and not much ran around was we reached home.

Another 1.1 inches of rain last night and this morning.

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