Friday, May 23, 2014

The First Bloom and the First Frog

Spring is a time of renewal, and I love to watch for the “first” each year in several categories. First on my list is watching the first cactus bloom. The cacti that I have are all either gifts from my wife and daughter, or ones that I have bought on my own. Funny thing is, the ones that I buy for myself never make it, while the ones I receive as gifts seem to thrive.

The first one is from Sarah, my daughter. She got it from the sand dunes on the outer banks of NC in a town called Duck. That was 15 years ago and it has been moved 3 times to 3 different houses where it continues to thrive.

The one pictured at the top is the latest addition. Sue picked it up from a woman named Mona, who has sold us some very beautiful plants and even some cacti and palm trees over the past few years. Her prices are outrageously fair. That planter, with the pot, was only $8. And it will give me years of enjoyment. As a matter of fact, Sue and I are planning on stopping by to show Mona how quicly and beautifully this new cactus has bloomed.

The second thing I wait for is the arrival of the first frog. Now, this isn’t the greatest photo, but it does capture the spirit of the frog’s yearly return to our house in Concord. Each year it’s like a pilgrimage. Scores of these little toads descend on my front porch to visit the great Green Shrine of the Frog, which is visible in the background. We like frogs.

Sue swears that she saw the first frog last week, but without the photographic evidence I am a bit skeptical. When I spot the first frog I usually wrap it up in a handkerchief or towel and bring it in to show Sue. At the very least I take a photograph. So, I have to wonder why she didn’t call me out to look. Hogging the frogs!

Actually we have a small group of these frogs which live somewhere on the property, or in the nearby creek, during the winter. I’d swear I recognize this guy from last year, although he has put on some weight. I wonder what they eat all winter, as I haven’t seen a fly since early October!

No matter, the frogs are back, which is reason enough to celebrate. I can never greet the return of the frogs with enough joy. After the frogs and cacti have arrived the turtles come; my favorites. Along with the lizards; who like to hide in the siding during the cold weather; the whole neighborhood seems to come alive again. There’s something very comforting in watching the world come back to life each year. May it ever be thus…

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