Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Frogs’ Category

A Blessing and a Curse

Oregon, west of the Cascade Mountains, is green. To quote a famous frog named, Kermit,… “It ain’t easy being green…” is an understatement. Oh, the green permeates the environment quite readily as soon as the first rains hit the ground after the dry season of summer….wait….what? You didn’t know that up here in the Pacific Northwest we have a dry season? Well, in fact, we do!

The dryness of a late summer walk with Tucker & Karli.

The dryness of a late summer walk with Tucker & Karli.

But that’s another discussion!! So to get back to topic…it’s a wondrous sight to watch how the grasses green-up in mid-fall, yet they don’t really grow due to a shortened day. The grasses remain a straw-like green throughout the winter…even under a blanket of snow…but the show really begins as winter starts turning to spring. The vibrancy that ensues is absolutely gorgeous!! This is a true blessing!!

As I stand outside, I see that blessing everywhere around me.

The beautiful green...the beautiful Penni!!

The beautiful green…the beautiful Penni!!

This compound color of blues and yellows surround our land in differing hues…it is quite stunning! However, there is another picture in my mind that I have to continually blot out so as not to hinder the true romance of the spring eruption…that is the “curse”…one of hours and hours of….MOWING…GRASS/WEED/BRUSH/ENORMOUS WILD BLACKBERRY BUSH CONTROL!!! ugghh! My husband and I keep about 17 of the 34 acres we live on groomed or in some areas, just managed. The other 17 are left to be natural wooded acres for wildlife and just, well, nature to thrive. It is a very healthy forest. Once we get the bridge rebuilt across the creek, we’ll be able to groom the already existing trails. Right now we hike back there with a machete in hand for the overgrowth.

While we wait for the ground to solidify a bit from the winter/spring rains allowing us to get this toy…

She sure doesn't look that new anymore!!  LOL

She sure doesn’t look that new anymore!! LOL

…out and mowing, yesterday, I started on grass management within the pond…that is the removal of dead grasses that float causing a disruption to birds, and frogs…besides looking really yucky. Tony and I don’t use any pesticides, fungicides, etc. on the property so the work to keep the land and water manageable is very labor intensive. Sometimes we win…sometimes the forest wins…but either way, it is a healthier ecosystem! So for almost 3 straight hours yesterday, using an 8 ft. long pool cleaning pole with an attached net, I cleared the pond of all the dead grasses that I could reach….


The pond full of dead grasses.

The pond full of dead grasses.

I couldn't reach everything, but it will eventually make it's way closer to shore.

I couldn’t reach everything, but it will eventually make it’s way closer to shore.


The right side is where I've already worked.

The right side is where I’ve already worked.

Most of what is left on this side are still rooted.

Most of what is left on this side are still rooted.

It was a hard job, but well worth it! Gloria’s Pond looks beautiful once again, and the balance of the ecosystem has not been compromised! I read somewhere that you can tell a healthy pond by the presence of frogs because they breathe through their skin…I’m very happy to report…we have a lot of those guys!!!

It’s Springing Like Crazy!!

Contrary to popular belief…I haven’t yet lost my marbles….well maybe not all of them. :o) I know it’s still winter, and much of the country is still experiencing the freeze from the polar vortex…

Amazing images from NASA!!

Amazing images from NASA!!

….but I’ve learned that once these guys come out from the mud….

…Spring is springing, spranging, sprunging…it’s knocking, loudly, at the door!!! I recorded this frog song last year in April, so right now they are not singing as loudly, or voraciously, but the brave have emerged and are singing in the early dusk evenings. It’s very exciting, and hopefully, encouraging to my friends out in the Mid-West and on the East Coast…especially to the amazing dogs (Great Danes) and people of the Service Dog Project in MA ( servicedogproject.org ) whom, btw, you can watch live on Explore.org!



Photo by Mark Arimault

With this being our third “emergent of spring-time” season, we think we have discovered a pattern with the onset of the frog songs. They are like our groundhog…our indicator to start planting seeds in the greenhouse (okay, we don’t have a greenhouse yet…but when we do…) and then into the ground in six weeks. We started hearing the frogs about a week ago, so we are going to mark the date of Feb. 23rd, count forward 6 weeks to April 6th, and ready ourselves for planting into the ground during that week. Since the growing season in western Oregon is at least a month shorter than in the San Francisco Bay Area, timing is crucial. My garden of 2012 suffered a lot of damage because I planted just a week or two, too soon. Frost killed much of my garden, and I had to replant which, of course, meant double the costs. My garden wasn’t huge so it wasn’t a big loss. I wrote off the cost of that garden to a very well spent Pacific NW Gardening education…of which, I’m still trying to earn my degree!

Looking forward to these little beauties again!

Looking forward to these little beauties again!

In the meantime, I’m enjoying our mildly cold, rainy days, watching and listening to the amazingly poetic sounds of numerous types of birds in the tree canopies, and watching the green of the pastureland become more vibrant as everyday passes. This is beautiful country, God’s country, and I am so thankful to be living within it!! When I take the time to sit, look, watch, smell, and listen, I can feel Him, hear Him, see Him…my God, my Savior is here He created all of this, and it is good…it is very good!! Just listen to Benedict…he’ll tell ya!!

Tag Cloud

Our French Oasis


House by the water.

From blank block to new home in Mandurah, Western Australia.

Chantel Mickaela


A Bright Ray of Hope

I'm a temporarily staying-at-home mom of two living in Oregon, learning all over again (after 15 years of city life) how to garden, harvest, and put up food. You might see posts about baking, parenting, crafting, organization - anything that strikes my fancy!

Homesteading NJ

Keeping the garden in the Garden State.

Winkos: a straw bale building adventure in Poland

A journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle

Press Publish

Inspiration and tools for better blogging from WordPress.com

Cherry Orchard Homestead

Learning to live a Simple and Self-Sufficient Life

Humble Little Homestead

Living Simply and Enjoying the Good Life


an exercise in simplification

Health, Life, and going back to basics

What I've been discovering about the ultimate self-sufficient lifestyle

Kevin Hotter

Los Angeles Freelance Writer • Comedian • Photographer •

Crockern Farm

The evolution of an old farmhouse, an American woman, an Englishman and their dogs.

Mucking Moms

Horse Showing, Stall Mucking, Kid Raising, Garden Growing, Animal Rearing, Creative Crafting, Home Cooking, Penny Pinching, Coupon Clipping, Family Loving Moms

Preppin' Mamas

Get your prep on...no matter what comes your way!

My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

The ancient eavesdropper

Nature's nuances in a nutshell

Willow Creek Farm

High Altitude Homesteading

Cheese Acres Farm

Happy hens lay healthy eggs!

The Jones Garden Blog

We plant, we water, but only God can make it grow.

%d bloggers like this: