Froggie Home

Water features make someplace special. Whether it’s your own backyard, a restaurant, or the local zoo. I added zoo to that list because a zoo near us is located in Emporia, Kansas. It is very small, but gorgeous. They have a large pond filled with turtles sunbathing on rocks, and ducks floating lazily in the Kansas sun. At one time, they even had a pair of swans. Every summer, the flowers are blooming in abundance, and it’s just a peaceful, beautiful place to take a stroll. It’s also free to walk through, so that made it a great place to take our children. Now, our grandchildren love going there. Add a picnic lunch, and it’s extra special. But for me, the best part is the water.

I’ve said many times, I’d love to have a home on water or near water, or even a view of water. As you all know, those kind of homes are usually rather expensive. So, when we first moved here, I purchased a small, black, pre-made pond. Digging the hole for it was the biggest challenge. The area I decided to place the pond in had once been the driveway, for many, many years. Thankfully, the pond was small! I built a rock formation around it out of limestone we found in the yard, and other places. A little pump completed the building process. The addition of little goldfish was the culminating act, and it was a delight for me to sit there and watch those orange specs swim around, happy with their environment. At least I believe they were happy. I purchased five goldfish that year, and when I took them out in November to spend the winter in a tank, there were eleven! IMG_20151003_170934444

This picture was taken two years ago.

Sadly, that little pond hasn’t been home to fish for a couple years now. I need a new pump, and we’re having some sort of electrical problem with the GFCI. So, it collects swampy water, and I occasionally scoop it out to water my potted plants. But I really miss those goldfish, and their cheery greeting of swimming to the surface each time I walked to the edge of the pond. I know, they were probably just hungry, but I can dream.

That little pond is still inviting to some though. About two weeks ago, I went out, neared the pond and heard splashing. To my surprise, around five or six frogs jumped in from where they had been sunbathing on the rocks. They were just teenager frogs, so just a bit scared. Soon, they each peeked out of the black water and blinked their big, frog eyes.

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For me, that would be a really disgusting place to live. I don’t keep it clean like I did when the goldfish made it their home. The water became a bit murky by the end of the summer, but I could still make out the fish. Now, the leaves and muck in the pond make it thick, with visibility at about zero. But I guess that’s the perfect place for a frog to be. Or, it’s the only water within miles!

This pond is my dream: pond-1184074_1920

An oasis on the Kansas landscape. Those little fish are happy. If I build another pond someday, this will be my goal. This one is gorgeous too, japan-74424_1920

but a little beyond my means to do with a shovel. It’s also in Japan, so the greenery would not be the same. But…after trimming the hedges in our yard the other night, it’s not too hard to picture. Periwinkle and hosta plants are taking over, and they are winning.

I’m happy with the little frogs. I’m glad they feel welcome to share our space. If I get motivated next year, maybe fish and frogs can live together. One year I had both! I miss the sound of the trickling water, and the slivers of orange smiling up at me. But autumn is upon us, and soon it will be time to dream again, and plan for spring’s abundance. Have a great Friday!

The Yard in Bloom

Periwinkle…what a pretty name for a delicate flower. I love the way it rolls over your tongue and giggles at the end. At least it does that on my tongue. But I’m a writer and I experience things differently than others, I’ve been told.

Yes, I finally made it out to the yard this afternoon. I was greeted by this cheery purplish blue flower that I planted in many areas of our yard. Each year it expands, trailing its vine over the yard, and that’s fine with me. Usually it blocks weeds pretty well, and then we don’t have to mow that area. A great plan! And a much better one than us making our yard into a vast expanse of cement, which I think was my husband’s suggestion. I have strategically planted many items over our ten years at this house. It is very pretty now, with little areas of flowers for each season. But it’s like mowing around land mines. And after a hard day of work, it doesn’t thrill my husband to stroll through my landscaping pushing the mower.

Right now, the daffodils, the grape hyacinths, periwinkle and tulips are displaying their colors. The hosta is uncurling it’s large leaves, and the peonies are poking long stalks through the moist earth. The rose of sharon received a good trimming, much over due. I pulled up the small elm trees that greet me every spring. At one time, I saved them all. Now I am heartless. I know what they become in just a couple of years. Tall lengths of greenery that need a chainsaw to keep them under control. I don’t have the energy anymore and our son-in-law is probably pretty  sick of them as well! Well, I must say I took mercy on three of them and planted them strategically. My husband was thrilled.

I scooped out water from my little pond. No frogs greeted me. A bit sad, but after our cold night last night, he probably thought it was winter again. He’ll be back to sing in a few nights. He loved all the rain. Maybe he’ll bring friends as he did one year. They sunbathed on the limestone surrounding the pond, jumping in when they saw me coming. The goldfish and the frogs seem to enjoy one another’s company.

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I had several of these, displayed just as this picture represents. I love the purple with the white. So did our granddaughters! For now I have none gracing my yard. I tried to show them the beauty of the tiny bells as you see above, but they were more fun to pluck from the green stem. Next year, they will return! (And I hope my grandchildren will as well!)

Yes, I made it out to the yard today. And I remembered why I once spent so many hours out there. I sat at my bistro table and breathed deeply of the cool air, and was very thankful for all the hard work I’ve put in over the years.  For now we have a yard that is welcoming to people, birds, frogs, and grandchildren. It’s tranquil, and in a couple of weeks, the sound of water falling in my pond will add to the delight.

Periwinkle…what a lovely name for a delicate flower. flowers-1265770_1920