The yellow water lilies are getting ready to bloom

Marshland beside Ken Water

Although there were some stiff breezes when we set out for a late-morning walk, the ambience was tranquil as we moved deeper into the marshland. Our eyes were caught by the plentiful buds of water lillies, which should open soon to provide a splash of vibrant yellow across the murky marsh water.

I recall presenting an image of a fat toad we encountered along this very same walk, sometime in April. It was such a delight to see the creature, and to leave it undisturbed. Of course the global decline in amphibian populations is a stark warning of climate change, habitat destruction, and the fungal onslaught of Chytridiomycosis. But as we ambled along, we hoped that the lily pad marsh, a protected habitat, might also soon be filled with the sonorous chorale of frogs looking for love. Or what passes for love in the amphibian world.

The frogs of my youth sometimes populate the daydreams of my old age. But I’d rather experience their song in the present than have to dredge it up from long-buried memories. Or to trawl over to Youtube to have a listen, as much as this minute of frog song brings a smile to my heart.

So this morning’s joy is built on anticipation, on the hope that we might be able to venture out one evening, freshly lathered up with bog myrtle soap against the inevitable swarms of midgies, to listen to a froggy chorus. Or, we may have some head netting gear we could find, stored carefully away in a cupboard somewhere, that could allow us to walk unmolested by the no-see-ums.

However we’re accoutred, we hope to find ourselves, sometime soon, delighted on the trail of the lonesome frog.

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