When I was five years old, my parents decided to renovate one of our horse pastures into a tropical getaway. Sort of. We didn't live on a lake, and, in Northern Minnesota, it's a social stigma to NOT live on a lake or have a cabin on a lakeshore. Unfortunately, my mother's giant fear of water prevented any real estate deals from going down.
My parents couldn't let me attend school without having some sort of water access. What would the other kids say? I imagine the conversation would go something like this:
Them: "My family just got back from the cabin. My mom water-skied across the entire lake, and then I got to jetski off of six-foot high jumps while my sister caught a 20-pound walleye. What did you do this weekend?"
Me: "Um ... watched Bambi?"
Them: "WHAT? You mean you didn't have an incredible wet weekend of tubing and parasailing? Go away. We don't want to play Legos with you drylanders."
So, in order to prevent me from developing a social complex, my parents decided to compromise and dig a pond, complete with an island. Pocahontas was all the rage in 1995, so we also planted a willow tree in the center of the island.
Over time, an ecosystem emerged. Clams started growing in the mud. We threw fish in from other sources. And, eventually, the frogs began to migrate.
While I still couldn't jet ski, I could BS the conversation because of the frogs.
Them: "We had swimming olympics. What did you do?"
Me: "Well, I discovered a huge batch of frog eggs."
Them: "WHAT! WHERE? Tell us more. Were they slimy? Here, take some Legos and describe these frog eggs."
The frogs were an essential part of my childhood; I watched generations of tadpoles grow up, spent innumerable afternoons chasing the amphibians across the pond shores and may have even raised a couple as pets (although my mother never knew).
It was ... amazing.
What prompted this little trip down memory lane? This fantastic video from Failblog.org
, of course. I thought it would be nice to have a little lighter post than my last one.