Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Frogs and Rabbits and Other Lakeside Creatures

During this drought filled summer, we have seen more little rabbits than ever. When I take Sissy and Cassie out after dark, they are everywhere, their little white powder puff tails almost glowing white in the security lights.

They gather mostly in our neighbor's yard, because he waters and his grass is lush and green, unlike ours, which crunches like shredded wheat underfoot.

When we come out, they freeze in place, unmoving, except for their wiggly little noses, which twitch furiously as they attempt to identify our alien scents. Their long ears quiver, as they wait to see if we are going to approach or move away. When the chihuahuas finally notice them, of course, they feel compelled to alert the whole neighborhood, inciting all the other dogs to bark and howl furiously.

As the pandemonium mounts in intensity, the rabbits break free from their freeze, and scatter into the shadows, disappearing in an instant.

Most of the frogs we see are dead and dried little mummies, their tiny bodies lying in the sandy soil, victims of the drought.

The dogs seek out these tiny corpses, rub their faces on them, or pick them up to carry around until they finally drop them elsewhere.

As the lake dries up, the small critters are disappearing. We didn't see a single brood of baby ducks this summer. The frogs are running out of shallow water in which to breed.

We help as we can. We keep the hummingbird feeder filled with sweet nectar; we put our fruit and vegetable parings out behind the back porch for the rabbits, who devour them almost before I get back in the door. We keep the bird feeder full for the jays, sparrows, wrens, robins, cardinals and blue birds.

We can't do anything about the frogs or the ducks or the geese, except hope that eventually, when the lake returns, so will they.

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.