When I was a kid visiting my uncle Ernie out on his farm, frogs were everywhere to be found; and 9 out of 10 times, a big fat green frog could be located within the elbow joint at the top of a rainwater tank where the pipe met the guttering.
Frogs are such attractive little amphibians aren't they? Unlike cane toads, which are a rife pest throughout Queensland, frogs generally have smooth skin and nice colours. The sounds frogs make are wonderful too and it's totally easy to get why children and adults love them.
Green Tree Frog (above)
Who doesn't know the familiar CROAK CROAK…CROAK CROAK… from that frog in the down pipe? On a drizzly night, for some, it could drive them crazy and, for others, this bellowing echo helps drift us off to sleep.
I remember as a kid finding a frog in the toilet several times, at different places too, but it hasn't happened to me as an adult (maybe the sewage systems have improved over the years). And, I can't recall if it was my mother or an aunty of mine who had a very close encounter with a green frog under a toilet rim – all I can remember is a lot of frantic behaviour and screaming.
I have another uncle (Kevin) who keeps frogs as pets in his backyard within a micro-climate enclosure he built. He even hand feeds them occasionally which is an interesting act to witness. There's something not quite kosher about seeing a large green frog sucking a tiny bit of food from a persons hand by engulfing the first inch (or so) of an index finger and not letting go, but I can say I have seen it, and I swore next time I will film it.
Frogs and environmental health
They say, frogs are a good barometer for gauging the health of our environment and I tend to agree.
A few years back, much of Australia was in drought – a horrible drought it was too. And, even though now most of Australia's drought crisis is over, some regions are still in the midst of the lowest rainfall in decades.
Around my region it was looking very grim indeed several years ago when not raining seemed to become the norm. In 2006, I was still serving in the Army and happened to get deployed overseas for about 4 months leaving my wife with a new-born (our second son) only a few weeks old. Prior to leaving, I had planted about 12 fruit trees in the backyard to complement the other few dozen we already had. To this day, my wife still recalls the late afternoons and evenings whilst I was away devoutly watering these plants to keep them alive. Of course, due to severe water restrictions imposed by the council, the watering had to be done all by hand – watering can only.
So not only did Nina have to care for a new-born and 3 year old on her Pat Malone (own) but she had to keep our fruit trees alive also through one of the worst droughts in Australia's history. What a women…
Anyway, back to frogs, throughout this dry spell frog numbers were dismally low. I don't recall seeing a frog of any description for at least 3 years – not kidding! As the drought broke the frogs thankfully returned and now I'm pleased to say frogs are plentiful again.
However, frogs aren't just susceptible to lack of water; actually, drought is something frogs can wait out and survive through. What does really threaten our beautiful, diverse frog species around the world are chemicals and pollution in the frog's environment. Pesticides and other chemicals will kill-off our frogs faster than any dry spell so that's why we need to be conscious about what we knowingly and unwittingly leach into the ecosystems around us.
Forum – Self Sufficient Culture
Without frogs we know what will happen and I don't need to explain how important they are are to keeping the equilibrium of life around us steadily balanced. That's why on the banner of our new forum formally launched today, there's an image of a frog peacefully residing on a broccoli leaf. I want to encourage you and your friends to “follow the frog” with me and sign-up to our Self Sufficient Culture Community (SSCC) and be part of a forum where we can not only discuss frogs but encourage, learn, and teach, each other how self sufficiency can benefit the world.
Today is also special for another reason…It's Self Sufficient Me's birthday! We're 1 year/s old! Happy birthday to, Self Sufficient Me…Happy birthday to… – well, I'm sure you get the sentiment…
Seriously, thank you (the readers of SSM) for visiting and returning to the site over the past 12 months. Without your encouragement this website would not have survived and I sincerely appreciate your loyalty.
I want to also give a special mention to all those (including family) who have contributed to SSM through articles, images, comments, guidance, and even anonymous feedback – much appreciated.
Conclusion – don't forget to follow the frog
The last 12 months writing for SSM have been fun and now that I've finished creating the forum, I hope to write a little more often. I implore you to at least have a browse of the forum and don't be shy to make a comment or enter into any discussions because everyone can value-add no matter what their experience. In the Army, we used to say the only stupid question is the one not asked so if you have a query be sure to post it on the forum. By simply asking a question, making a quick comment, or giving the thumbs up to someone else’s POV you are promoting and helping the self sufficient community cause… and all frogs on the Earth (call it emotional frog-mail).
Most of us want to leave the planet in better health than when we found it so “follow the frog” to the SSCC, keep reading SSM, and let's share our self sufficient lifestyles together.
Feel free to comment below (no email is necessary).
Look, and see the Earth through her eyes
Mark Valencia – Editor SSM