Saturday, October 31, 2009

ANIMAL STORIES

Do Frogs get Lonely?

One day last summer, Sherry came back from the Fred Meyer garden store with a tray of small bedding plants. When we removed the small plastic pots from the cardboard tray, there was a small green frog huddling in the corner. It was a chorus frog (formerly known as a tree frog). The plants were from a nursery in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, and this is a native species. Well, we don't keep pets anymore, and we live in a very urban area, so what to do with the little guy/girl? I carried her/him to the backyard, our Garden of Tranquility, and released him/her on a flat rock in our water feature. She/he crawled under a rock and hasn't been seen since.

However, over the past few weeks, there is a frog calling from the corner of the Garden of Tranquility where the water feature is. It's a very plaintive call, almost haunting in it's loneliness. Is our frog lonely? Is it trying to find a companion, a mate? What should we do to help? Is it legal for me to capture another wild chorus frog for our garden, and if so, how do I know if we need a male or female - how do we even tell the difference?? Life has knotty problems.

Eats Shoots and Leaves

A panda walks into a bar...... Well, no, actually that's just a joke. But I think about pandas every time I have to thin our bamboo landscape screen next to the house. Bamboo is an amazing grass. Ours, the black bamboo, sends new shoots out of the ground every May (we call them "the Aliens"), and these things grow about 10 feet in 3 weeks. Amazing! Every year I spend a day or more thinning - which is the easy part. Then I have to cut the bamboo thinnings into pieces small enough to fit in the green yard debris recycling can. This takes hours of tedious work.

Our sister-in-law Jill volunteers at the zoo. I asked her once to ask the zoo folks if they want my bamboo cuttings for the pandas, or the giraffes, or anyone. I knew they wouldn't - and they didn't - because, well, how do they know I haven't sprayed the heck out of the bamboo with poison?

I need a panda. Not as a pet - remember, we don't do pets anymore - but maybe once or twice a year. A panda yardwork helper, with an appetite. Anybosy know one I can call?

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