June 14th, 2010



I was sitting on the front steps today, having attacked the boxwood for awhile.  (This is not exactly “pruning” and is rather more akin to shaving the head of a French aristocrat before they go to the guillotine.  I will be attempting a hugulkutur bed with the branches, but the real goal is to clear enough space that we can get at the bottom of the accursed plants with a chainsaw.)  This was hot, exhausting work, and I flopped down on the steps and went “Phew.”

I was peeling off my gloves and looking around for my lemonade, and looked up just in time to see a red-tailed hawk shoot by at my eye-level, about six feet away. He was cruising, too–if I hadn’t caught a flash of rust on the tail, I wouldn’t have the faintest idea what species he was beyond “Holy crap, bird of prey!”

He landed somewhere in the wooded area, I think, but not anywhere I could see. The chickadees and chipping sparrows were out on the feeder immediately in his wake, and seemed unbothered by him. I wonder if he’s the one who was hunting in the yard before…?

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.



There is a small brown frog sitting on the edge of the watering hole I put in the ground a few months ago. He is actually straddling the edge of the sunken flowerpot with one little froggy leg down and his toes in the water. It is unbearably cute.

I am watching this with binoculars from my second-story studio, because every time I get within twenty feet of the watering hole, there is a quiet “plop!” and I never see what’s in there. For weeks I was noticing movement and the occasional plop, but nothing. Today, however, I have managed to spot two small brown frogs, one rather larger than the other, living in it.  Since I’m using binoculars from this range, I can’t get much detail–yup, it’s a small brown frog, alright. It may be a “bronze frog,” that being the most likely culprit in size, range, and coloration, but I can’t get nearly close enough for a conclusive ID.

If it wasn’t so delightful, it’s almost be painful–making a frog habitat was SO EASY. It required virtually nothing on my part except twenty minutes labor. I dug a hole big enough for a plastic azalea pot about a foot across, dropped the pot in, tossed some dirt in, and filled with water. Now and again I splash with the hose to refill and stun the mosquito larvae, although if I have froggies, I don’t even need to be worried about those.  I don’t even clean the thing out–there’s leaf droppings and whatnot in there from the trees overhead, forming a slurry at the bottom that the frogs hide in when I walk by.

Eventually I put a stick in it, so that any dragonfly larvae in there could climb out.

Seriously. It is a plastic flowerpot full of water, in a hole, with a stick in it. That’s it. And frogs have moved in. They’re not even using the stick! The stick was purely optional!

The mind boggles.

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.


Slice of Life: RPG Division

DRUID: Let's look for a town bulletin board. Maybe there's a note to tell us where the villagers have gone.
PALADIN: Err...they're peasants. They're illiterate.
DRUID: You're a paladin! Doesn't your order educate them?
PALADIN: We're a demonslaying order! Our manuals have lots of pictures!