Frogs on the Farm

“Frogs on the Farm” was originally written and published on March 30, 2017, a time when I had very few readers. I have decided to share it again today because for various reasons I haven’t got my usual “Spring is Springing” post ready. Be assured that spring is here: the birds have returned from their winter homes, the trees are beginning to bud, the daffodils, iris’s, lily’s and even the garlic are emerging from underground and the frogs are singing. More on that soon. ūüôā

Original Post published March 30, 2017

Last week on one of our sap cooking days, in addition to helping keep the fire going, I took on the secondary chore of raking the leaves out of the pond. As I came up with one rake full of leaves and shook them into the pile just beyond the beach, this frog hopped out of the leaves.

IMG_2362

I felt kind of guilty about awakening him or her, because I was yet to see or hear any frogs this spring. It did however spend a good deal of time sunning itself on the beach. It wasn’t until one of the chickens came running up behind it that it took¬†a three foot¬†leap back into the safety of the pond.

It was two days later that we heard the frogs for the first time this year. I remember my mom telling me, that her mom had told her, that after you hear frogs for the first time in the spring you will have three more freezes.¬†Although I’m always excited to hear the frogs in the spring, I haven’t really tested this theory.

Frogs and toads lived on our farm before we put in the pond. I remember the first spring there were tadpoles that had hatched in a puddle of water and my husband was dumping buckets of water in the puddle to keep it from drying up before the tadpoles reached their adolescent stage of life.

Our property does provide the perfect habitat for frogs and toads. The pond offers conditions needed for frogs to lay eggs, for the eggs to hatch into tadpoles and for the tadpoles to live until they grow legs and their lungs develop so they can leave the water. This can take over a year for bull frogs. Even mature frogs, who can live out of water, continue to need a wet area to keep their skin from drying out. Not only does our farm have the pond but we have wooded areas where the ground is covered with dead leaves that keep the ground moist even in the hot and dry summer conditions.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources article that I have linked below of the more than 3400 species of frogs/toads only 13 live in Michigan. I am certain we have at least 4 species that populate our farm.

Frogs and toads are wonderful for pest control. The aforementioned article relates that a single frog will consume thousands of insects per year. Last year we discovered that we were reaping the benefits of this.¬†As we picked¬†our bountiful harvest of strawberries ¬†https://donteatitsoap.com/2016/06/30/strawberries-at-last/¬†last June my husband and I spoke several times about the fact that we did not have any slugs eating the berries. This is a problem the we have had with strawberries we have grown at the house in the past. It wasn’t until my husband told me that he had been surprised by a frog hiding in the strawberry patch, while he was picking berries, that I realized that¬†this frog was probably enjoying a regular diet of slugs and any other pests that threatened¬†to consume our¬†strawberry crop. I am hopeful that a frog will take up residence in the strawberry patch again this year.

Frogs are a good indicator of the health of wetlands, ponds, lakes and such as they do not survive in polluted areas. The Michigan DNR article that I have linked below explains that chemical fertilizers and pesticides are a threat to frog populations; not only can the chemicals kills frogs and toads, but the pesticides also reduce their food supply.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10370_12145_12201-35089–,00.html

The frogs on our farm are also entertaining. In the summer time when we walk around the edge of the pond the frogs jump into the pond one right after the next. It’s kind of funny because there may be 50-100 frogs sitting around the outer edge of the pond. The dogs like to chase the frogs but rarely are they able to catch them. Last year Scout spent hours in the evenings looking for frogs along the edge of the pond, he enjoyed the search immensely even though he never caught any. After dark¬†we are often treated to a campfire symphony, in surround sound I might add, as the several different species of frogs sing from different areas of the farm.

While not everyone has the luxury of being able to put a pond on their property I have included the following link for those who may be interested in creating a frog habitat. I would encourage you to read through the end of the article, as it does explain that the best way to introduce frogs to this habitat is to let them come to it naturally and this may take a year or more. It also explains that not all parts of the U.S. are favorable for creating frog habitats.

https://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Gardening/Archives/2000/Want-to-Host-a-Garden-Party-for-Frogs.aspx

55 Things # 13 – Mom Turned Upside Down

Click here to learn more about my ‚Äú55 Things‚ÄĚ and here to view previous posts in this series.

Many years ago, when my children were young, and I was a much younger, divorced mother juggling a fulltime job and raising 4 daughters, I had a ring (I am not even sure where I got it). It was just an inexpensive piece of costume jewelry and it had the word MOM on it. I was never sure how to wear that ring. Should I put it on so when I looked at my hand I could read the word MOM, or was it better to wear it so that when others might look at my hand they could read it?

One day while looking at the ring I saw the word “MOM” turned upside down and I read the word “WOW”. I then thought about how many times while performing my “Mom” juggling act I felt like I was running in circles, doing the splits, or turning cartwheels and summersaults. Sometimes it really felt like I was upside down.¬† It suddenly occurred to me that those were the times that I was really WOW. (Wow is defined as an exclamation: expressing astonishment or admiration.) Juggling in itself is challenging at best but juggling while standing on your head is an amazing feat.

I had planned on writing this post some time during this year and with all things our world is experiencing right now I thought that there might need to be some Mom’s that need to hear this. I am sure that there are many Mom’s out there who feel like they are trying to juggle while standing on their head right now and if you are one of them I think of you and say WOW. I admire you and applaud you.

If you are reading this but are not currently a mom trying to raise kids during these challenging times feel free to pass this message along to someone who is and give her the encouragement she needs and the acclamation she deserves.

 

IMG_5318
My Gang

Thanks for reading and be well.

 

 

Not Just Elderberry – More Information On Cytokine Storm

Once again I will reiterate that I am not a medical professional. If you have health concerns please consult with your doctor or health professional. They have the ability to diagnose your condition and determine the best course of action. I’m am, however, sharing this information because I fear that my earlier post about having a strong immune system could have devastating results for some people. After reading fellow blogger Joni’s recent article about The Great Influenza and this article on cytokine-storm I am retracting my “motherly advice”.

I will no longer share information or advice about health or well being either my personal practices or things that I have read.  I will leave that to the professionals.

This is the message I received in an email letter from herbalist Jim Mcdonald –

“Everyone is wondering – rightly – “what do we take for the coronavirus?” While there are numerous theories and ideas, the truth of the matter, at this point, is that we don’t entirely know. There’s so much we don’t know about COVID-19.

But there are things we do know, about the body, about supporting fever and immune responses, and about working with the person and not just the disease they’re responding to. As I study cases and as I’ve begun to work with cases, what’s clear is that people are responding differently: some people have high fevers, some people respond with low grade fevers. Some people have more pronounced upper respiratory issues, while other are just feeling it in their lungs. Some people are safe managing the infection at home, and some will need medical intervention. It’s clear that we can’t make one size fits all suggestions, and clearer than ever that truly holistic, energetic considerations need to be made when choosing a course of action.”

That letter along with a discount offer on his Foundations in Holistic Immunity series can be found at this link.

Personally I will now refocus my energies on things like garden planning, soap making, and taking care of myself, my husband and the boys.

I will also continue to pray for strength, wisdom and well being for all.

 

 

If You Are Taking or Considering Taking Elderberry Read This

Since the article that I shared yesterday included using elderberry to boost the immune system, and I frequently do this during cold and flu season, I felt it imperative that I share the following article which explains that elderberry may be harmful or even deadly when fighting COVID-19. I will be putting my elderberry away  for now Рbetter safe then sorry.

https://trendflare.com/site/elderberry-warning-for-covid19-coronavirus/

Please be safe.