Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Each night before heading off to bed I step out on the deck to check the sky and the weather, maybe get a gaze of stars to take with me. This being the burgeoning of Spring, when I stepped out last night I was only expecting the quiet of starlight but I walked into the sound of joy sky high, it was almost deafening - no doubt surpassing the limits of human hearing - the kaeru (frogs) had begun their full-blast, mountainside-sized annual mating party.

The paddies, all freshly flooded now but as yet unplanted and faceting down the night mountain in silver slabs of sky, have a long history as the local venue for amphibian romance. The frogs have a week or two before the rice is planted, so they take advantage of these intense nights when the water all belongs to them and their eggs.

It had been sunny all day for the first time since the paddies were flooded, and throughout the bright warm time the kaeru had just dined and basked in quiet, gaining in strength while awaiting the night, when they would hop on the wild side. Now it was party time and every one of them was putting a whole day's sunlight into song, song that filled the air with fundamental happiness, all those thousands of lives giving back to the night what they'd received from the day, in a whole mountainside of non-stop kaeruoke.


Mary Lou said...

Our frogs started their croaking on Mar 20th or so.

Robert Brady said...

The frogs around here started earlier (as in high school), but the crescendo has just begun.