The gravel path leads up a small rise and cuts through tall grass. At the path’s end a wooden deck protrudes into the pond, which provides a sort of entertainment in the early evening hours.
The deck is bordered by rushes and cattails — corndogs as a grandson calls them. Tall flowering plants with long legs and big feet submerged in muck beneath the water gently wave from side to side in a soft breeze.
The water’s surface is covered with a thick layer of green algae that makes one leery of leaning hard against the deck railing. The algae, disgusting in appearance, host a myriad of wonderful properties and marvelous uses.
The beauty of nature out here has been accented by the beauty of romance; carvings dug deep into the wooden railing around the deck.
My eyes flit across the many declarations of love but pause on “Meg loves Zack.” Nice lettering. But the question lingers: Does Zack love Meg?
They’ve probably had their first disagreement by now. One can only hope they discovered decent communication skills when the euphoria began to wane.
The sky slowly turns hues of pink and peach and the music of romance rises from the water. It is a deep baritone, the male bullfrog announcing he is in search of a mate. The bullfrog is the Italian opera singer in the world of frogs.
One sounds as though he is right by our feet, another to the side, still others directly ahead. They take turns and begin overlapping rapid-fire. It is speed dating for frogs.
The bullfrog has a unique voice. Some say it sounds like a cow with a head cold. Others claim the baritones are calling “jug-o-rum.”
Some bullfrogs sound like wooden chairs dragging across the floor. Or light sabers. Really, really powerful light sabers.
Bullfrogs can also sound like the tuba section in a middle school band. Or a beginning cello player.
If you have a mate that snores, the bullfrog may sound familiar-like that low growl from the throat that often precedes the full-fledged window-rattling snore.
Not that you wanted to know, but the difference between a green frog and a bullfrog is this: the green frog has a ridge that runs from the back of both eyes all along the rim of the back. The bullfrog has ridges, too, but they curve downward behind the eyes.
After listening to the bullfrogs in concert, the husband begins imitating them. Soon it is difficult to separate the legit from the imposter standing next to me. The frogs are calling back to him. He makes a good frog man. He’s had years of practice snoring.
The sun has dipped below the horizon and the light is quickly fading, but music of the last days of summer still dances through the night.
Lori Borgman, an author and speaker, writes this column for the Tribune News Service. Her new book, “What Happens at Grandma’s Stays at Grandma’s” is now available. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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