Sex is imperative this time of year, when the earth releases frogs to spawn in the flooded weeds and duff.
I pause where the minimart stands next to Highway 9. This winding two-lane hasn't started to thrum yet with the train of commuters between Santa Cruz and San Jose. Raindrops drip on my car from sagging redwood limbs, the counterpoint to a chorus of frogs. I still have a backseat filled with papers to deliver further up the road, but I have time for this rare and remarkable concert.
Their trumpeting call for love eases my mind. Too many thoughts of trivial matters: Will that patron find his paper where I flung it while speeding down the street? Will that garbage dog regret pillaging the neighborhood trash cans? Why is that well-lighted line of mailboxes so creepy? Was someone murdered there? Will this bronchial lump of phlegm ever leave my lungs? All these questions recede as the reptilian serenade pierces my gloom.
It astounds me with its volume and intensity. Crescendos echo against the hills. Sex is imperative this time of year, when the earth releases frogs to spawn in the flooded weeds and duff. Galaxies of eggs soon burst with wriggling tadpoles that will sprout legs and grow bulging breasts for next year's rut. This all must be accomplished before the autumn heat seals them back in the hardpan.
The melody rises and falls, forte and pianissimo. Reluctantly, I shift gears and pull way slowly as frog voices wane behind the miles.
Juke is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
If you can’t swing a regular subscription fee, consider helping to cover the costs of production via donations to Venmo or Paypal. Any amounts are appreciated!
You can read more from Sue Cauhape on her page, “Ring Around the Basin”:
oh I love your description of just a brief moment in time - that could be so easily missed or ignored- yet there as evidence of the mystery and wonders around us.
Tonya, I love that photo. Thank you.