Frog Day Afternoon

Photo: a frog in a tupperware tub.

One of those days

or Adventures with Wildlife

March 2, 2005

I am supposed to be...

...working on something else. But I have supposed to have been working on it all day, and I am getting nowhere. So I quit.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

But I was going through some of my files and I found this picture I took a couple of summers ago. I had gone down into the basement to do some laundry...

I have to make some excuses here. Our basement is a scary place. There was a time when I had my studio down there; my stereo, computer, a couple of drawing tables you could actually see (and not buried in papers). But even then it was a bit scary down there.

One night I was working late at my old Macintosh Performa 6115CD, which at the time I thought was a wonder. It must have been well after midnight on a hot summer night, and that in itself was a little creepy. The house was dead quiet except for the TV mounted high up in the corner, some infomercial droning on about some wonder or another I couldn’t live without. So I am staring at my computer screen when I thought I saw the lights flicker.

Nah. It was just my imagination.

But there it was again, almost like a shadow had passed over me. That made me a little nervous. And then...

WHOA! A bat swoops past my head!

I dived (dove? doved????) under my desk, my heart beating like crazy. It was the creepiest thing, this bat flying back and forth across the room in the middle of the night. He’d disappear into the shadows of the back room, and then circle back into the light and over my head. It was just like in those old Dracula movies, its wings flapping up and down without a sound.

I realized that wildlife indoors is very unsettling.

So now what do I do, I wondered as I ducked under my desk every time he circled around... between me and the stairway.

Finally, I gathered up my courage and decided the thing to do was to open the basement door and hope that he finds it and flies out into the night. When the coast was clear I made a dash for the door.

I propped it open and then darted back to my desk. I had a project that I really needed to get done that night, bat or no, and so I tried to convince myself he wasn’t going to come up from behind and get caught up in my hair.

Now I have a bat flying circles in the room and the basement door propped open, and I am thinking this idea has its downside. Yes, the bat can fly out - but what sort of wildlife is coming in as I sit there, my back to the door?!

I imagined raccoons and possum creeping in and disappearing into the shadows of the back basement.

Thankfully, my little furry friend eventually did find the open door and I jumped up and slammed the door and locked it tight. Whew!

But working downstairs while the kids were getting into who-knows-what upstairs wasn’t working out, so I had to move my studio into the dining room. And then I got sick and we started using the basement as a quick place to pitch stuff to when we had no other place to put it. Little by little we lost control of the space.

So now it is a complete mess, and no one wants to go down there. And if you have to go to get the laundry, you don’t want to stay long!

Did I mention the spiders?

So where was I? Oh yeah, a couple of summers ago I went down to put in some laundry...

...and there, just sitting atop the pile of laundry in front of the washer, was this big ol’ bullfrog, as pleased as could be. “Just chillin’” as Marcela would say these days.

A very messy laundry room in the scary basement

Where he came from is a mystery.... well, except that once upon a time I was sitting down in the basement, back in my studio days, and I was musing about a frog in a jar. Maybe the prop department up in heaven was finally filling my order.

So I caught the frog, and stuck him in this Galdware container and took his portrait.

I am guessing he was having one of those days too.

2005 Paul Dallgas-Frey

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