Going Through The Motions

I had an experience this morning that left me feeling a bit sad. And yet, when I pondered why it happened, I could not come up with any good reason. It was not as if I could have done anything to change the outcome. It just happened, as I was simply going through the motions of getting on with my day.

While FD was in the shower getting ready for work, I made the bed, let our three Japanese Chin out to do their duty, and then grabbed the keys, setting out to open up the front gate and unlock the storage building. As I walked through the storage building, I contemplated breakfast. I thought about making an omelet with wild mushrooms, kale, onion, and tomatoes. I would add my homemade chorizo too. Thinking about the yummy goodness that awaited me, I pulled the pin anchoring the two sliding doors of our building together, and then yanked the south door open. As I placed the pin back through the metal loops on the north door to anchor it solely, I noticed something globular flop off of the lower metal loop that the pin went through. Peering at the strange mass that had caught my eye, I had a sinking feeling the “glob” was initially stuck to the low end of the pin and, as a result of me pulling the pin up rapidly, the glob hit the first loop and stuck.  It finally released itself in a slow manner, like a bit of sticky muck giving way to its own weight and gravity.

Sliding double doors and pin.
Sliding double doors and pin.

As I crouched down to see what the glob was, I noticed the tiniest throbbing movement from the throat area of whatever it was, and a slight pulsing from its belly. This tiny little frog was so small it was nearly translucent. It would be a stretch to say it was an inch long total. I picked it up gently, noting I had mostly severed the left rear leg and the condition of the right rear leg was questionable. We have had more than four inches of rain over the past week, so it was not unlikely that we should have a large toad and frog population, but I had never seen one so tiny – so fragile. I figured death was imminent at this point. The weather was predicted to cool down again this week. How could this partially mangled frog survive?

I took the little frog in the house and showed it to FD. In the warmer atmosphere of our home, the little fella became more active. I decided to put it back outside in moist soil where it could be hidden among grasses and flowers. I was surprised to see it begin wiggling under dried leaves, making its way to a dark spot. The fact that it seemed active made me feel a bit better about possible survival. I hoped for the best.

My friend as I found him this afternoon - transformed into a handsome green specimen!
My friend as I found him this afternoon – transformed into a handsome green specimen!

Just two days prior, when I had been putting my flower pots and yard pretties back in place after mowing, I came across a dead, mutilated toad laying in the grass. I am always so careful to watch for toads and snakes when I am on the riding mower. I try to avoid harming any living being. Yet there it was, a fatality that had happened despite how careful I had tried to be. While I do not beat myself up over these accidents, I still feel sad that a living creature lost its life simply by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. And maybe, it is a little bit about me just going through the motions and not paying attention as I should, going about my day’s work with my head in the clouds and thinking about other things. Regardless, some accidents just happen for no reason at all. But this morning, despite the unfortunate injury, I found myself being thankful to have the opportunity to see such a wee specimen.

The frog had managed to settle in a small indentation covered by leaves (I uncovered him in my search).
The frog had managed to settle in a small indentation covered by leaves (I uncovered him in my search).
My friend had no problem escaping me. I guess he thought one catastrophic meeting with me earlier was quite enough!
My friend had no problem escaping me. I guess he thought one catastrophic meeting with me earlier was quite enough!

Late this afternoon my curiosity got the best of me. I went back out to the area where I had put the tiny frog, searching to see if it had lived. I was amazed at what I found. The translucent glob had become a slender, green and bright-eyed frog! Sadly though, both rear legs appeared useless. The left leg had become tangled with leaf debris. I decided to pinch off the dried and flattened area that seemed to hinder movement. Where the right leg joined the body, there was a little hind end movement, so I left that leg as it was. Still, the forelegs were strong, and my little friend was moving around to get away from me. In just a few hours he had become a handsome specimen and despite the mangled rear legs, was moving about quite efficiently.

Despite extensive loss to both rear legs, this little fella was still quite mobile.
Despite extensive loss to both rear legs, this little fella was still quite mobile.

Going through the motions of this evening, I think I will be a bit more mindful of the delicate ways of nature, though I will never be surprised at the tenacity and resiliency of all living things.  And, I will be thankful for the miracle and message of each day!

© 2014 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

 

 


42 thoughts on “Going Through The Motions

  1. Dear darling girl, you really are our old, old soul. Our watchful one. Thank God you are where you are. It is so hard to always have every antennae up all the time, and you are more alert than most. I love frogs too. I do understand. It does make you sad. But it is a good ‘sad’. A right sad. Take care.. c

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    1. Oh, sweet Cecilia, it took me a long time to get these things right in my head. I suppose my own experiences taught me that there is more to an accident than tragedy and sorrow. It does no good to lament and be tormented about these things that happen to all of us at one time or another. And yes, there are messages… lovely gifts that we learn to understand. They are not gifts wrapped in pretty boxes with lovely wrap and ribbons – they are gifts of life and reality. Thank you for knowing my tender soul, Celi. You are my sister across the miles.

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  2. I’m so glad to hear that he seems to be making it — he was lucky it was you who found him, wasn’t he?
    This story reminds me of the time a few years ago when my sister was visiting us and I pulled a stack of plastic lawn chairs from the shed and carried them to the driveway to hose them off. As I began unstacking them, out fell a momma mouse with nursing babies clinging to her, right onto the hot gravel. I was panicked as she tried to run across the sharp rocks, dragging those fragile little babies, and I tried to figure out how to rescue the little family. As I was almost in tears from the distress I’d caused them, my sister stood there and said, “They’re just mice, let them die.” I was stunned at that response, but I managed to scoop the family up and put them in the shade under some wood steps. Her response is a pretty good illustration of why I feel so different from my whole family. They make me feel like I’m being ridiculous for caring so much about certain things like that.
    Which makes me all the more grateful to have you as my dear friend. xoxo

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    1. Oh, Kim, I have been teased and taunted most of my life about my tenderhearted ways. I understand how hurtful negative and uncaring remarks like that can be. I suppose that is why I tend to shrink away from society. There are many bullies and ignorant people who insist their way is the right way, and they have little regard for what they consider “lessor life forms”. To me, it is the right thing to care for the plants and animals. I always hope people have experiences that help them understand the importance of caring,kindness and compassion.. be it for man or animal (or plant!). As for you and me, (and other critter lovers) we will continue our work with respect and kindness for all creatures. We wouldn’t have it any other way! I love you Kim… what a special kindred soul you are.

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  3. I always feel terrible when birds fly into our windows by accident. Some things just happen as consequence of our being in this world. Take care. You are in good company.

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    1. Oh thank you… what a lovely thing to say. Sometimes it’s very tough to make it in this world. It means so much to know there are many people with caring and kind hearts.

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    1. Oh thank you, Dan. This is what I love about the blogging community – I think we all have an appreciation for acts of kindness, whatever they may be. People are so encouraging and supportive here.

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  4. Oh I know exactly what you mean. I would really feel awful as well. Even accidently hurting some little critter does me no good. I recently opened our back screen door and didn’t notice until it was open that a small lizard had been at the bottom and the door sweeper swept the poor thing across the cement walkway. It was not pretty.

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    1. Another case of a little lizard being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think there are a lot of soft-hearted people out there… and thank goodness! Of course in your photographic work in the swamps, I often worry that YOU might be in the wrong place at the wrong time! Those alligators always look HUNGRY to me!

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    1. Thanks Monica. He needs all the good luck he can get! Tonight is supposed to get down in the mid 30’s, then 90’s by the weekend. Poor fella needs some good survival skills.

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  5. We do the best we can. It just was wrong place at the wrong time.
    Creatures are so resilient sometimes. Unlike people they don’t whine, they just do what must be done. If food supply, sprinkle of water available, and shelter is available, he may be just fine. Finders crossed, little prince!
    (You and Ci are both mere children – but keepers!)

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    1. Aw thank you!! I wish I FELT more child-like! Ha ha! You are correct, we DO the best we can! It took me many years to stop going to the negative when I came across a scene like this frog. I was amazed at the resiliency and the tenacity of this wee fella. I hope he makes it. Today I did not go back to the area I placed him in, but I may check tomorrow. He was fairly mobile, so I am hopeful.

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  6. I’m fighting back tears as I try to find something of any import to say. You and I are so very alike in our love for all creatures great and small, Lori. I find God’s (or Mother Nature’s, or…) scheme that animals suffer is poor judgment at best, and after the sadness of seeing suffering or death I get angry. Oh well – something for us to understand in another life, I guess. Hope you and FD are well!

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    1. Thank you Sid. We’re doing well. When things look bleak with wildlife or nature – and it happens a good bit here – I try to keep a bright perspective. At the very least I am thankful for the appearance and message from each critter that crosses my path. Something is shown at every facet of life. It is sad when we witness something horrific or we mourn loss. But I am always quick to thank the critter or Universe for providing the moment of the message. Everything lays down its life for a purpose.

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  7. I think the most important thing about this whole experience was that you cared. That is what makes this matter. To many people they could care less about this tiny little member of an alternate yet parallel existence to our own. Most people have NO idea of what goes on around them in the animal kingdom and care even less about the animals that have to navigate their way around humanities ignorance. Maybe that little frog will survive…maybe he won’t. Life can be tough but then look at Helen Keller and Mr Stephen Hawkings and there is more to life than a perfect body. I love that you cared. That’s why I follow this blog, because you are “real” and you give a damn about the world around you and it is reflected in your beautiful photography, completely in tune with and sympathetic to the subjects that you shoot. Awesome majestic stuff because you care.

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    1. Well thank you for such a kind and loving comment, Fran! You always make me feel so good… so appreciated, and loved. Once again, you’ve hit the nail on the head with me. It’s a wonderful thing not to be numb about the world around us. It feels right to care and be kind. I wish more people could see that the simplicity of nature is where it’s at! Stopping to pay attention to the little things does matter, and it touches me deeply. There are a lot of aspects of nature that I might never have known had I not spent that first 8 months with Daisy deer – observing her, being still, and paying attention to the little things that alerted her. We all have the capability of being “real” and doing our part to change the world for the better. It is what we need to instill in our children. I started this blog to document daily life here… mostly about chores and work outdoors, maybe share some recipes, and a little farm girl logic. My blog has evolved more into my observances of nature and philosophy of life. It’s about wildlife, and totems – messages from the animals. I see nature through the camera lens, and I write about the miracle of abundant life here. All of that busy day to day work that I started out writing about, just never compared to the amazing observances of nature I had in a day. It makes me happy to read your comment. That just made my day!! Thank you, sweet friend!

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      1. Thank YOU for being a wonderful reminder to always remember that there are entire worlds going on beneath our noses that we just never pay attention to. I am going frog hunting today with my camera. It’s certainly wet enough for them 😉

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        1. I hope you had good luck finding frogs! I’m a bit amazed to find them here since we’re up top of the canyon. The river is about a mile away. We do have a lowland area just beyond the pecan orchard so perhaps that’s why I see them so often. I went to look for my little friend today, but never found him. I put the sprinkler out in the area just in case he needed a little moisture!

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          1. I found a poor starving duck yesterday. There is an older man who keeps ducks, chickens and now geese and who used to sell ducks killed and cleaned on his property. He is also a bee keeper and he lives just up behind our property. I was walking with Earl and saw this poor duck falling over on the side of the road. This man lets his ducks out and doesn’t contain them and at least 6 of them have been killed on the side of the road in the last month by cars as they are trying to find food and head to get some water. I returned after I dropped Earl home (in the car) and picked up this poor duck that weighed nothing and took it back to my place. I think that people who don’t care for poor animals in their charge are the worst kind of people. I am going to get in charge with the RSPCA (animal protection) today and report him for animal cruelty. This duck was just feathers 😦 Hope your little frog found some of that tasty moisture 🙂 The duck certainly got stuck into food and water and it has it’s own pen at the moment while it recovers.

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          2. Good for you Fran! Thank you for rescuing that poor duck… I too get bent out of shape with people who do not care for the animals/livestock they have. I even know people who don’t care for their pets well. I acquired a duck one year that someone had gotten for Easter, then days later dumped the little thing at the city pond thinking it could survive. It was brought to us, and we got it a companion, and raised them both for a couple of months until foxes arrived on our place. After watching the foxes get closer each day, we had to relocate our little charges to a duck habitat nearby. How could anyone thing a baby duck could survive all by itself in a big pond?

            I put the sprinkler back out today. Wherever my little buddy is, I hope he’s luxuriating in a nice, misty bath in that area!

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  8. Big Sister, I completely “get” you. I believe we are more than just sisters in this world, but kindred spirits. Although you’ve saved many from the animal/reptile kingdom that I’d consider “Icky” (LOL), I’ve never felt okay with letting a creature suffer either. This experience of yours teaches us all a good lesson about perseverance. Often times we are so quick to judge that things aren’t necessarily right, or perfect. Because a frog has four legs, and was intended to use four legs, he surely couldn’t survive on two. How clearly we are mistaken. Like your friend Fran pointed out, there are people who have overcome severe, and unimaginable handicaps, yet the will not only to survive but to persevere, helps us to rethink our own expectations on life.

    Great post~ you have the biggest heart 🙂

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    1. Oh we are two peas in a pod Baby Sister. When we were little, your heart “hurt” the most when some little critter had trouble. I see a lot of people here who have compassion and caring. That is the point in life… that we help one another and act in love. 😀

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  9. Hi Softie ;).
    This one’s once again an excellent piece but more than the writing, it’s the pictures that ‘speak.’
    As usual, it takes me back to my childhood when we often saw reptiles in our garden, particularly toads and frogs of all sizes, chameleons. small snakes and a lot of lizards everywhere. It was particularly amusing to see lizards scram leaving their wriggling tails behind when attacked but terrifying when these slimy creatures fell from the roof on to our beds.
    That said, I guess nature has its own way of looking after its creations. This tiny frog will perhaps live a long time, happy as ever, and as if nothing’s happened. It already looks healthy. Your brief intervention immediately after it suffered the injury was a life saver and must have done wonders to the little creatures morale! Keep it up!

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    1. Oh thank you! You always have the nicest things to say… and as I read I always see you as a young boy, possibly ornery!! I am glad I grew up in a part of the Midwest US where we did not have so many reptiles! I can’t imagine one plopping on my bed from the ceiling!! EGAD!! 🙂

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      1. LOL! No, I wasn’t that difficult to deal with and certainly not bad-tempered ;). What I was, was always inquisitive – a lot actually – and frequently got into trouble over things I had broken, lost or tried to “fix”. And, yes, I was also very compassionste – tried once to also fix the tail back on a lizard and wondered why it was in such a hurry to get away!

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        1. Oh dear! I meant ornery in the sense of a mischievous boy, full of wonder that might get in trouble as a result!! I should have picked a better word! Goodness, HOW were you trying to put a lizard tail back on? LOL That is funny!!

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  10. It is an awful feeling, isn’t, when something happens quite by accident. You might have seen the photos of the tiny baby mice we found when carrying out spring dormouse box maintenance – we were not expecting babies so, so early in the year, and we frightened off the mother and emptied out the box of leaves (dormice will not use boxes inhabited by mice). It was only then I saw a pink squirming thing that turned out to be a helpless baby. Without realising we had disturbed a mother with 4 babies a few days old. We gathered the babies up and re-constructed the loose nest as best we could and popped them back in, but I’ll never know if mother returned or they survived or not. It’s an awful feeling, especially when you are trying to help species. But he’s a fighter so I think Mr Frog will be ok 🙂

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    1. Oh, Rachel, I would think the mother would come back to search for her babies. I have seen where squirrels will still try to nourish their young even if the nest comes to the ground in a storm. As for Mr. Frog, I looked for him yesterday but didn’t find him. Of course he’s not going to stay in the same place. I have decided to put the sprinkler around that area as I have planted some wildflowers and grasses there, so maybe he can keep moist without the use of a waterway. I hope I find him at some point and he proves to me that he’s managing just fine without much for rear legs!

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    1. Thank you Mike. I’ve always been a bit afraid of frogs – it’s the jumping. They’re unpredictable! But this little fella, I picked up with my bare hands. He was transparent at first, so I wasn’t sure if he was a frog or toad, but he evolved into such a beautiful, slender green frog by that afternoon. Now I am not so afraid.

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