Tuesday, May 20, 2008


It’s hard to imagine, after last summer’s drought, that a rainy spring could be anything but wonderful. So many suffered in the dryness. And with spring growth, a season’s loss can be repaired.
But even for me, amphibian-loving, frog-watcher that I’ve become—this rain is too much.

Last week I arrived home from work to find a tree had swallowed my front yard. It had disappeared under the boughs of a locust.
A Leaning Locust, native to the Ozarks and southern Appalachians, one of many, persistently sprouting from every corner of my yard.
Eyeing small buildings on which they may, someday, fall.

It never seemed so large--standing by the porch, as it had for years. But, sprawled out, face down across the lawn like a waiter catching his toe on the carpet—he’s wiped out everything in his path. Cherry tree… lilac bush…
The porch is unharmed.
The softened ground, a mound—one taut root, its lifeline.

There he lay, as it continued to rain.
Until, finally, a dry day for cleanup.

And more rain.

I put on my spotted boots and trudge across the pasture, days overdue for mowing. The grass is, in places, almost knee deep.
The tractor, in the barn, still sleepy from winter’s dampness, refuses to tackle the green, wet mess.

Tractor pneumonia.
A coughing, glassy-eyed machine—we cover it and let it rest. Maybe it will get better.

I’m headed to the Wood pool, to bring a bucket of fresh water back to my tank.
The path at the edge is flooded.
The cool, rising water within has found a way out.

In the small clear streams flowing past my toes, Wood frog tadpoles scramble, frantically, upstream. Swept in the current from the surface of their quiet pool--into these leafy hollows, from which there will be no return.
Trapped beyond the edges of their home, they’re doomed.

Soon, it will be time to return the growing salamanders from the tank to the Wood pool, also—to become wild, again. And free.

I feed them a snack before heading upstairs to bed.

A small foot touches my finger and crawls into my hand.
Safe, for now.

The rains pound against the tin roof.

Last September, we were 12 inches below average in rainfall.
This spring, we are over 6 inches above average.

For the journey of my Jefferson Salamanders,
now 42 days old,
please click here.

Thanks to Mrs. Nesbit for hosting ABC Wednesday!

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Carolyn H said...

I love your photo of the rain drops on the twigs and leaves. I'm tired of the rain too, but I'm hesitant to mention it. The way the weather has been lately, I'll probably end up with no rain for the next 6 months.

Carolyn h.

nina said...

But moderation would be nice.
The pool, that I worried would not stay wet long enough for the tadpoles and salamanders to metamorphose, is equally unsatisfactory when it floods and displaces its inhabitants throughout the woods.
I guess there IS such a thing as too wet--even if you're a frog!

The Birdlady said...

Love the picture of the rain on the leaves, and the tiny salamanders are funny.

Gary said...

I bet the barn has many photo opportunities. I love your description/discussion of the old tractor.

Kjerstis Hjørne said...

Hi. I love your Rain picture, it looks so fresh.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your tree. Fine photo with raindrops on the branch.

RuneE said...

A nice description of rain - only, we are so used to it that we take it for granted around here.

imac said...

Snap.= Rain haha great shot - love these rain drops.

Pop and see my R post.

Ida said...

Beautiful shot of the rain drops.
I like the salamanders also.
And they like rain i assume.
Very nice R. :)


John said...

Great set of photos and a wonderful rain post!

Anonymous said...

This is a nice R post. I love the top picture.

Texas Travelers said...

Rain is good,
Nice R

Come visit my R's,

R&J said...

Rain = melancholy. But after dry period so needed...

mon@rch said...

I just love seeing those guys so tiny like that! how cute having them climb up on your finger!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Nina, I feel your pain regarding losing your tree. UGH... It is so disheartening. It will be better when the tree is cleared away. I hope your lilac and anything else is able to rebound. Maybe with this rain they can.

Your little charges are so cute. It must be fun having them around so you can watch them grow into adult salamanders.

Sandpiper said...

What a great post. I love those cute little critter feet on your fingers. :)

Susie Q said...

Your blog is stunning. I have so enjoyed being here and reading through everything. Thank you for visiting me earlier this evening...
We are in Ohio as well and yes, as much as I love rain, as much as I adore cooler temperatures, this has gotten to be a bit much!

Oh, one of my baby robins flew the coop..well, so to speak. I went out to take another quick photo and he flew up, grazed my head and ended up out in the neighbors yard.
Papa Robin followed him and sat *speaking* to him for several hours. I lost track of the little one. Of course I am worrying about him! Mama R. sat in our tree and called to the other 3 for over 2 hours. Me thinks she was ready for them to fly as well. As of nightfall, they were still hunkered down, refusing to follow their sibling!

Mary said...

Nina, I know... We are almost cursing the rain when we need it to make up for that almost two-year drought. We're not getting soaked but have regular storms that pour two inches at a time. A very cool, chilly spring.

I believe the snakes have wiped out my tadpoles :o(

Your photos are wonderful! I wish I could stop by one evening to help feed your salamanders :o)

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" thanks you for visiting San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

100º F here in the Bay Area? Rare, but it does happen. However, those temperatures are common in the inland valleys of California. Year-round average temperature in the Bay Area is 65º F.

Patty said...

We had rain here today too. I am sure before long our area will be behind. Summer is upon us.

Stacey Huston said...

So very cool Nina.. that is just precious.. thanks for sharing.

Picturing of Life said...

nice shots for R theme

Will you visit mine Thanks

Gary said...

Thanks for the visit and comment.

Great post about rain and spectacular photographs - refreshing to look at - but I guess a pain when it lasts a long time (We know all about that on our wet little island!!)


marlow said...

i forgot the rain, and cant remember on it;)
Nice shots i like it

babooshka said...

A marvellous collection for r. So many to choose from but the raindrops where beautiful.

me and my camera said...

The little verse kept running through my head as I read your post...."Rain, rain, go away..." Your rain seems like our snow been this winter; continuous and non-ending.

Naturegirl said...

Nina I loved the first photo!
Your gentleness and caring spirit for the salamanders touched me! You are truly a Nature lover!

Dirty Knees said...

Rain is no fun when you've had too much, that's for sure. Rain is WELCOME here right now in Southern Ontario.

Liz said...

Rain is vital but sometimes it just doesn't know when to stop!

Our tadpoles are growing into whoppers now. But no legs yet.

bobbie said...

The rain may be too much for you, but htat first picture is perfect.
Sorry about the tree. I'm still trying to work around the one that fell in my yard too.

Daryl said...

A good R .. I could have captured our own downpour yesterday .. we dont lack for rain in fact its been a VERY wet spring after a very mild winter here in NYC


mrsnesbitt said...

So beautiful, natural and simple.

Petunia said...

Lovely post and your photo is so great:D
Petunia's ABC

Anonymous said...

That is a very poetic post. But it is nice to see that your wet weather trek was not in vain.

Marvin said...

We always desire "just the right amount" while nature always provides -- or fails to provide -- whatever it wants. And so it goes.

Our super wet (i.e. flooding) spring has finally moderated. In fact, it won't be long before I'm desiring a nice, gently, overnight rain of an inch and a half or so. :-)

Great post.

Old Wom Tigley said...

It seem spring as been wet for many this year.
reat pictures, and I did like the old tractor

Trixie said...

Nina, your posts are so very beautiful. I love the compassion you show even to your tractor. Thanks for the loveliness.

possumlady said...

This was beautiful. I smiled at the "waiter tripping over the edge of a carpet" and laughed out loud about your sick tractor.

Oh, but I feel bad about those poor little tadpoles being swept out to the woods. Like a minature reverse tsunami. So glad you have your little tank of friends to replenish your vernal pool.

zhakee said...

What tiny little salamanders. I've never held a baby salamander. It must be wonderful to be so close to so much of nature.

Susan Gets Native said...

Girl, you gotta come see my salamander pics. I need help.
(Like that's anything new.)

: )

Katney said...

Cute baby salamanders. Wonderful contemplation of the rain.