A summer of frogs, Red Tail Hawks, etc.

Summer is passing and autumn gaining ground.

I despise hot, humid weather, and so I am glad. Caring for dogs and sheep I suffer when they suffer from the heat. We can all cope better with cold, and the cool of autumn is fantastic!

This past summer was marked, once again, with persistent high temperatures and high humidity through days and nights. Being in the midst of fields full of corn that transpires its moisture back into the atmosphere, we always had humidities 10 or 20% higher than Chicago’s OHare Field measurements.

Each year is marked with a different mix of flora and fauna. This was marked especially by a blanket of pigweed in the margins of the field and sometimes right there in the middle of our new planting of orchard grass and alfalfa. More pleasing were the Red Tailed Hawks and the frogs. We seem to have a family of three Red Tails that cruise our tree lines and our fields, each calling out periodically in that exciting screech that the TV people always use when they show eagles in flight. Eagles actually have a loud chirping or cackling that the producers must deem less than dramatic.

And the froggies are everywhere. They love the dripping and oozing moisture in the fields and they are crazy about the place beneath our yard light where the insects swarm, giving them a nightly feast. When I move the stock tanks there are usually about five or ten hopping critters that scatter about, in a panic till I return their cover. I know that amphibians have suffered greatly in our poisoned agricultural world, and the fact that almost 80% of our corn crop is treated with Atrazine herbicide doesn’t help, since that substance tends to greatly disrupt their reproductive cycles. I hope that the summer of the frogs is a sign of good things to come.

About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.
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