Frogs…In February?!?!?

Curt-lineby Curt Kovener

What a difference a few weeks make.
In January I needed jumper cables for a jump start because of the weather. In late February with the sun shining brightly and the thermometer outside the wilderness window almost bumping 70° the batteries in my mini-SUV and my psyche are re-charged and raring to go.
The daffodils planted in the valley and along the lane have greened up and there is rapid bud swell. Some of the soft maple trees are beginning to show some slight red on the branch tips as their buds prepare to swell as well. The ferns placed in the basement to overwinter are sending up curled tendrils of new growth well before their natural forest cousins have dared think of sending up green.
The spearmint sitting next to the basement ferns has greened up as well and there is lanky growth leaning into the sunlight.
Outside, as I pulled weeds that took over last year’s herb garden, I was pleasantly surprised to see chives already growing.
As if they were thumbing their noses at the early February groundhog, I heard spring peepers down by the lake more than a month before the spring solstice. And to beat all, dodged a few frogs on the roadway as I drove home from an evening meeting.
Frogs…in February…in Indiana?!?!?
I had some gleaned ear corn that I shelled and scattered for the turkeys down in the meadow. Though I think Emma the Great Pyrenees thinks deer and turkey are an invading force and she is constantly on patrol protecting her property and her humans…oh, and Willow the camouflaged cat.
Mother Nature’s critters seemed anxious to be out and welcome the warmer temperatures. A fly crawled along the dock and took flight when I reached down to see how active it really was. Not to be outdone by the fly, a cricket moved, albeit slowly, along the edge of the water. And the bluegill of the lake swam at the surface seeking a handout of fish food…which I obliged.
But the warm February weather doesn’t always bring out the good. A tiny tick was removed from Emma’s fur. And, alas, while enjoying the unseasonably warm weather from the back deck (while also enjoying a chilled adult beverage), I swatted a mosquito attempting to dine on me.
What with the warming temperatures…yes, I know it’s just February & there’s more cold weather a comin’ (and might already be here by the time you read this)…I have a bunch of chores planned: spread round some more fertilizer, get some wildlife planting seed in the ground for later turkey & deer browse, pull the weeds in the mulch pile to use for the raise bed gardens, cut up some downed trees for next season’s fireplace wood…
With all of that to do, I’m not sure when I will find time for work at the newspaper. Except to inspire a column or two.