Frogs and Fallen Trees

Frog in the woods.

I went down to the woods and sure enough, a big surprise awaited me.  My usual path to the stream (and on to the frogspawn, I delight in spotting every year) was blocked by a host of fallen trees.  I had come prepared with my new camera phone, so I stopped to take a picture.

Fallen Trees
Such a desolate image and yet the sun worked its magic on the scene. Photograph: K. S. Moore.

These tall and slender trees had obviously been slain by the high winds while I was at home, listening to the wind roaring in circles, threatening roof tiles, sanity and sleep.  I noticed the branches most of all; they lay in disarray and I couldn’t help thinking that spring would never arrive for them.  There would be no cloud-like puffs of fresh leaves to stand their ground against further breeze, only stillness.

Unperturbed, the sun made a fan of light overhead and filtered through the branches, like a stealthy angel. I could see a stretch of water to my right, so I decided to leave the path and brave damp and mossy ground that dragged at my heels.  Beyond a crop of healthier trees, the water merely rippled and gushed.  It did not offer frogspawn.

“Let’s have a stick race,” suggested Hubs (my faithful companion) and gave me a choice of two.  We threw them in line with a jutting stone and mine skipped with pace, while Hubs’ stick faltered and fell behind.  I was the winner and it felt good, proving that as adults, we should not put away all childish things!

On the way back, a movement caught my eye and turned out to be a frog.  He was small, with that curious gleam amphibians tend to possess – their sleek skin hinting at prowess in water (even as they cower at ground).  I leaned in with my camera, praying the frog would humour me and stay put.  He did and I managed to take photographs from several angles.  To be perfectly honest, I’ve never met such an obliging frog.

Frog in the woods.
Thank you, Mr Frog! That’ll do nicely. Photograph: K. S. Moore.

So, although my annual pilgrimage didn’t deliver quite what I was expecting, I couldn’t complain, as I’ve never been able to capture a frog on camera before.  I like to think that this experience has fed my writing this week.  I’ve been attacking my novel and trying to be really disciplined.  I decided to put aside the spooky short story I was working on.  I had been hoping to submit it to an anthology, but the deadline is nearly here and realistically, it won’t be ready.  I can go back to it at a later date.

Meanwhile, the novel is really starting to take shape and the characters are coming to life.  I just hope I can stay the distance!

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