|Violets growing in the woods by the river|
I walked down the road, through a pasture, then along a grassy lane to the river. Everywhere I looked, tiny violets poked up through last year's dead leaves, ferns, and grass. Some were light purple, others, a deep royal purple -- and all of them smelled sweeter than any violets I've ever smelled. They smelled like candy.
As I got closer to the river, I heard a sound I'd never heard before. At first it reminded me of spring peepers back in Maine (little tree frogs), but from the intensity of the sound, I was pretty sure it was coming from a much bigger frog than a peeper.
Earsplitting -- that's a good word to describe the noise from these unseen frogs. I was at the riverbank, but I couldn't see any of the frogs. However, the assault on my eardrums assured me that there were many, many of them right in front of me. I was walking into the sun, so the glare on the water heightened the contrast of everything in front of me. All I could see of the frogs were the rings of ripples left behind after they hopped into the water and disappeared beneath the surface.
I contemplated trying to catch one, but knowing what is in the water further upriver, decided that would not be a good idea. So I just watched them and snapped a few pictures.
Now that I knew what the frogs looked like, and the light was direct, I saw them at every step I took as I headed back toward the grassy lane to the road. I stopped at one spot where I saw several of the frogs to try to see them making the crazily-loud squeaking/ringing sound. I watched one for a few minutes, but couldn't see anything moving that matched the sound. I shifted my focus to another, larger frog a foot away from the first one and found what I was looking for. As the frog emitted an unearthly-loud squeaking, two bubbles of skin blew up on either side of its head. It looked the frog was made of gray-green bubble gum. As soon as the squeaking stopped, the bubbles deflated.