I’ve always been a little obsessed with frogs (and toads). When I was a child, we lived across the street from a huge gully full of swamps and forest and I would often spend my summer days armed with a net and a bucket. I would catch frogs and salamanders and take them home to live in my terrarium for a week while I studied them, fed them, loved them and then returned them to their homes. In retrospect, I may have disrupted their lives a whole lot more than I thought, but I wasn’t heavy into conservation when I was six -instead I was fueled with a fascination for amphibians (and all other creatures) and an insatiable need to fill up my brain with new information.
Incidentally, that constant drive to learn new things is still with me and I am forever getting sidetracked from the task at hand by new and interesting tidbits of “stuff”! It drives Greg crazy and he swears I have a touch of ADD and I have way too much trivial information cluttering up my brain. He’s probably correct…what was I talking about again??? Oh yah…
A couple of years ago, my auntie Shelley bought me a beautiful photography book about frogs (Frog by Thomas Marent, Nature Photographer). Marent’s one of my favorite rainforest photographers, not only because his images are ridiculously amazing, but because he often sits in miserable conditions for days just waiting to catch a fleeting glimpse of an elusive animal. Anyone who has the patience to sit still for more than a few hours in a rain-soaked, parasite-filled cesspool of misery, just to get a photo, is hero material in my eyes. (If you’d like to see some of Marent’s photos, you can check out his website here .)
The book, aside from being full of beautiful images, is also chock full of information on hundreds of frog and toad species and it has a rather large section on my three favorite types of frogs – Poison Dart Frogs, Glass Frogs and, my uber fave, Red-Eyed Tree Frogs.
Have you ever seen such a beautiful frog? So many gorgeous colors in a tiny little, slimy creature. Heaven!
Here’s what National Geographic has to say about my favorite amphibian:
Red-eyed tree frogs, despite their conspicuous coloration, are not venomous. They are found in tropical lowlands from southern Mexico, throughout Central America, and in northern South America. Nocturnal carnivores, they hide in the rain forest canopy and ambush crickets, flies, and moths with their long, sticky tongues. Red-eyed tree frogs are not endangered. But their habitat is shrinking at an alarming rate, and their highly recognizable image is often used to promote the cause of saving the world’s rain forests.
When we found out that I was pregnant, I immediately thought of doing a frog theme in the baby’s room. I chose a ridiculously bright shade of lime green paint and we painted the entire room with it. Then we bought a bunch of white picture frames and I spent some time taking photos of frog stuffed animals to hang in the frames on one wall. (I’m waiting to show the room until it’s all set up). We have also chosen a wallpaper mural for one wall that has a rainforest theme and, as a capper, I decided to create some cross stitch patterns out of pictures of my favorite frogs and frame them on another wall. My reasoning is that the baby will have a lot of interesting things to look at once she’s able to see color and, hopefully, she’ll develop a passion for frogs too!
Here are some examples of the patterns I’ve created in the past few weeks. I’ll post the finished products once I get them all stitched up.
This first pattern was my first attempt at creating a cross stitch pattern and it’s not quite as nice as my second attempt, but you have to start somewhere!
I have two more to make and stitch, but I’m sure they’ll improve each time I make another one. The second pattern took me approximately 20 hours to create, so I think I’ll choose two more photos with less detail in them for the last couple of patterns! 20 hours to create, a month to stitch…WOWZAS! It’s a good thing I have a lot of time on my hands right now.
I have realized that one of the most important lessons I want to teach our daughter when she makes her way into the world is that animals are living creatures, just like us, and thus deserve to always be treated with respect and kindness. I’m hoping that starting her out in an environment surrounded by animals will be a good first step toward that goal.
Happy Friday peeps. I wish you all enough…