Finally, comfortable that these almost periscope-like eyes have not spotted danger, the head begins to emerge, and again so very, very slowly. It may take 10 minutes or so before the whole frog is visible. He moves toward the pond's edge so slowly as to appear wind blown -- no ripples at all in the water. There he may stay in the water motionless for another three or four minutes before finally taking the leap to dry land. And there on dry land he sits once again motionless.
What is this frog thinking, what is this frog doing, that moves so slowly and at one with the wind and water around him. I'm sitting in a chair staring and recalculating my thoughts about reptilian intelligence. This sly and charming creature seems to know more that he is letting on, this juicy pair of frogs legs. How can he know so much and be only a frog?
He is, I think, as he looks around, connected to a greater intelligence than himself. And now the frog, the pond, the breeze, the petals in the water become one, and I become one with them. The stillness is absolute. It has to be that way. The slightest movement of my hand -- kerplop.
Beyond the frog pond are the trees and meadows, already in bloom.
These trees, many of them, are old. Fruit trees were planted by the first settlers in the Carolinas and proliferated in the wild and on farms. Some of the cherries and one of the pear trees not far from my bus are well over 25 feet tall. In the flowery spring arrays they stand truly magnificent against the blue sky.
|Crab apple blossoms.|
|A cherry tree more than 25 feet high in full bloom.|
|Peach blossoms from a young tree.|
Back to the frogs. If the frogs detect motion they disappear, back into the pond. But a flashlight blinds and confuses them. They see not motion but light and sit very still.
It is a very peaceable moment at the spring equinox and dark moon with Venus riding high in the sky just after sunset to see the dark frog shapes and yellow eyes on the sitting on the bank above the water with hundreds of petals floating on it.
|The first of six frogs makes land around the cistern.|
Venus is lower now. We stand and get up, and the half-dozen green-backed white-bellied denizens are gone now and swimming under water.