Monday, May 3, 2010

Frogs Matter

"We are born princes and the civilizing process makes us frogs." Publilius Syrus, 85-43BC, Roman Philosopher

I have always considered myself a turtle girl....Not the turtleneck girl crooned about by James Taylor, but turtle girl as in lover of those gentle creatures. Lately however, frogs have stolen my heart. Their melodious trills are a delight to any who are fortunate enough to hear them; each species singing and staging a beautiful springtime ballad of love. There are currently eleven species of frogs in New England: Spring Peeper (Pseudocaris crucifer), Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor), American Toad (Bufo americanus), Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrooki), Fowler's Toad (Bufo woodhousei), Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris), Green Frog (Rana chamitans), Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica), Leopard Frog (Rana pipens), Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), and Mink Frog (Rana septentrionalis). Each one playing a specific role in the environment; each one warranting - I Break for Frogs.

Frogs also hold a special place in our home, as many years ago my mother gave my daughter her first 'frog'. Decorative though it was, that gift lived on through her dating life as a symbol and prophecy for her future..."You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your handsome prince," this based on The Frog Prince fairy tale popularized in the 1800's by the brothers Grimm. And, although we sweetly and adoringly relish the tale and hold it under scrutiny now that her 'handsome prince' has materialized, I step back to critically analyze those endearing amphibians, whose name stems from the Greek 'amphi bius', or, 'double life'. First stage in water; second stage on land. How cool is that!

Frankly, frogs are in trouble and need our help. One in three of the world's 4900 or so species are facing extinction at an alarming rate relative to their 350 million year existence. Water ways and features have been irretrievably altered, increasing UV rays destroy fragile eggs, pesticides and insecticides pollute, and a serious fungus (chytrid) is having a suffocating effect on these animals that breathe through their skin. Less frogs mean a disruption in the food chain with less noxious insects being devoured, and less food available for the snakes, birds and mammals that prey on the frogs.
In the end, suffice it to say, we are all connected and what befalls the lowly frog befalls us all. Science has proven that humans reap great benefits emotionally as well as physically by connecting in some way with the natural world. And so it is my hope your curiosity is piqued and you are encouraged to educate yourselves about these little lovelies, as that is the key to their ultimate salvation..Plus, who doesn't love green?

"I'd kiss a frog even if there was no promise of a Prince Charming popping out of it. I love frogs." Cameron Diaz, actress


Talia said...

favorite post by far :) I think frogs have become more of an obsession recently...they follow John and I around EVERYWHERE we go !!! Miss you/love you xo

AJ said...

Hello Maria,
Alessia and I just tuned in to hear the frogs...needless to say, she loved it! You should be so proud. I'm really getting to like this blog stuff (now if I could just remember my user name and password!)
Have a great day and take good care. Love, Alessia and Rosie

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