People do not typically consider frogs to be wily animals, but I am here to tell you that coyotes have nothing on these sneaky amphibious creatures. They have taken to gathering in the pool in gangs of eight or ten during the night. Clearly they’re conspiring about evasive maneuvers come morning when I have a limited amount of time to attend to them before heading off to work. They have also worked out that I will not leave any of them in the pool, so they focus on how to distract, fool or outright trick me.
I think this is a late summer specialty when I have less patience with the frog removal detail as the water has become cool and less inviting, so it is no longer about me and my selfish swimming needs, but only about them and their entertainment watching the human race around the pool carrying the big net.
The first tactic is “divide and distract.” Going for two frogs right next to each other with one swoop, they wait until the last second and swim in opposite directions, effectively stymying my pursuit. The next move is the “wait and jump.” They save this for when they are already in the net and then turn and do a swan dive (not easy for a frog) back into the pool. Sometimes they go for the leaf pose, camouflaging themselves with the collected debris at the bottom of the pool. This works more frequently than it should, because we have become lax about vacuuming, thereby allowing for more frog hiding possibilities.
The next technique involves swimming into deep water because they are much more speedy in deep water than I am with my long handled net, dragging it through the water which feels like it has taken on the viscosity of molasses.
I believe their favorite is watching me dash around the pool doing my imitation of the pole vaulter’s dash as I try not to take out any windows or bushes in the process. And all this as I am trying to save them from the chlorinated death trap that is the pool. Some kind of gratitude.
Another late summer bummer for me is the onslaught of mums. I whizzed by some the other day on my bike, and winced, but didn’t think too much about it. The next day as I got out of my car at a farm stand, I was visually assaulted by an entire display of them.
“Aaaaah!” I screamed involuntarily, like a vampire being faced with garlic. There were a couple of guys standing there who looked at me sympathetically. “Yeah, we don’t like them either,” one of them said. “It’s too early!” I cried. August is not for mums which herald the change of seasons.
It’s not that I don’t like fall. In fact, it is my favorite season, and the one in which my husband and I chose to make our wedding vows, but I don’t like to rush summer out the door. Someone told me that she saw Halloween decorations up at someone’s house the other day. I’m hoping that they just never took them down from last year rather than think that they are two months in advance of this holiday. I want to savor the delights that summer has to offer before bidding it adieu.
I suppose that all in all, this means that I should thank the frogs for providing me with the pull back to summer activities, even if they are the only ones doing the swimming.