One of my greatest frustrations over the years has been an inability to see big frogs in the ponds and sloughs I visit. I often hear them — their croaks, and their splashy retreats into water — but I never have seen more than the ripples they leave behind.
That ended last weekend at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge. Standing on a bridge that crosses a pond, I was idly scanning the water when I noticed a bit of bright green. Looking closer, I realized it wasn’t another clump of algae. It was a frog; even better, it was a frog who seemed willing to tolerate my presence.
After a few photos, I realized the frog wasn’t about to move, so I moved to a different vantage point on the bridge, where I was able to catch this wonderfully typical froggy expression.
Eventually, a noisy conflict between two bull alligators caused the frog to disappear into the reeds, but I had my photos. Only two days earlier, on March 3, I had expressed my hope to Steve Gingold, frog photographer extraordinare, that this year I finally would find a bullfrog. On March 5, I did just that.
Leaving the refuge, I was filled with the kind of joy that only a true Jeremiah could evoke. I’d gone for flowers, but found a bullfrog. It seemed a fair trade, and reason enough to break into the song that you know.