We had a group out a few weeks ago to pick their own flowers. I heard a loud shriek, then hysterical laughter from all. As one of the women was reaching to cut her flower, a tree frog had jumped off and landed on her shoulder. It made me realize just how blessed I am to live with these gifts everyday. Some people are terrified of frogs, spiders and snakes, but they are more a part of this world than we are.
Besides their many attributes, not limited to producing princes, frogs are an indicator of our environment. (see http://www.amphibianark.org/the-crisis/amphibians-as-indicators/for more information) No frogs in your yard? hmmmmm. That would really concern me.
We love to hear the spring peepers when spring finally arrives and the tree frogs serenading us after each rain through the summer. I loving watching the frogs hop out of the pond, nab a tent worm, and hop off with a fine choice of dinner. High five! We have an old wood hot tub that has been converted to a tadpole nursery. Grace and Jerid saved many little polliwogs this year from sure death before the water in our ditch dried up. God bless those two!
Very unfortunately toads do not turn into princes; however they are loved here just the same. Grace has been on a mission for quite awhile to catch and kiss a frog. She finally succeeded! Now the question is -where is that darn prince?
Spiders are also welcome here. (Think Charlotte’s Web) We only have two species of poisonous spiders in Michigan and these are very rare. Besides their amazing web building skills, spiders help to control insect populations. We keep a live and let live attitude towards them. If they come into the house they are usually gently evicted. I love to see the babies (called spiderlings) balloon off on their own soon after hatching.
Snakes are just amazing animals to me (how can something so skinny swallow something so big and stay so skinny?) and possibly another indicator to the health of our land. They help to keep the rodent population down and, unfortunately, sometimes consume our beloved frogs! We’ve recently seen an increase in brown snakes on our land. The babies (snakelets) are hysterical in their bravado. The adults seem to be much more timid. I have read slugs and snails are tasty treats for them, and a source of great irritation for me, so what’s not to love?
The next time you see one of these creature and get the willies, try to think of just how amazingly they are designed and how useful they are in this world.