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.
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.
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!