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.

frog-2410771_1920

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!

Droplets to Deluge

Water is a much-needed entity in our everyday lives. We drink it for our health, and we bathe in it for cleanliness. Rain is needed to grow beautiful flowers, and to water crops and gardens. We enjoy water for a boat ride, or to cool off on a hot summer day. The gentle patter of rain on a tin roof can lull us to sleep, while the pounding of a deluge can cause us to question our choice of roofing material. A babbling brook welcomes our toes after a long hike in the mountains, and the roaring of the ocean’s waves engulfs our senses. Water is magnificent, beautiful and a curiosity.

This liquid becomes a curiosity when it reaches out of its bounds. Sometimes the unleashing of a storm pushes those limits. The confines of reservoirs and dams that are man-made, and other times solid rock or shifting sands of nature can be challenged to hold…water.

I have always been intrigued by flooding. Maybe the Big Thompson Flood of July 31, 1976 piqued my interest. I was just eleven years old that summer, and watching the coverage on the news of that canyon flooding  really made an impact on me. I lived in Longmont, Colorado at the time, and that was almost too close for comfort. Those areas had been Sunday afternoon drives in the mountains, and I could remember them.

Water is a need in our lives. Without it, we die. But too much in wrong places can be devastating.

flooded-491245_1920

flood-432736_1920flood-63832_1920

Missouri and other areas are looking like those three pictures. Kansas has had some local flooding as well. We went from needing some rain after a dry winter to needing to dry out. Our garden, which needs to be tilled, is one giant mud pie. But my newly transplanted rose of sharon and baby elms are doing fantastic with all the water.

And that’s life. In everything there can be a curse and a blessing. Please pray for those affected by the flooding in Missouri. I know a few people dealing with it. Each time I look up at those gray skies and dread more rain, I’m thankful for a newer roof, holding secure. I’m thankful for my flourishing plants and the cool days. And I’m thankful for my dry house, and not needing a boat to go to the grocery store. In everything give thanks.