Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Egg Mass (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in) SOLD!

A very warm early spring day, 2 April dawns on the road killed frogs of last night along Limerick Road.  This female Wood Frog was not crushed, but was hit in such away that her egg mass all spilled out.  The eggs are all dark, pigmented to resist damage from sunlight, and each has a thin coating that would have expanded to clear jelly if she had survived her road crossing to arrive at the pond and lay them in the water in the tight clasp of a male.

Rudyard Kipling had the wolves who adopted the baby Mowgli call him "little frog" in his Jungle Book story.  I believe that people have a soft spot for frogs because they have bodies resembling our own, with arms, and legs with knees.  The frogs, being amphibians, are naked - and so are we, unusual among other mammals.

This scene for me, is not so much about the vulnerability of the little naked frog body, as it is about the spilling of her eggs on the road.  The tragedy for me is about the waste of all those potential Wood Frog tadpoles, who would have transformed into baby Wood Frogs this summer and set off into the woods to hunt for invertebrates, carrying out their little Wood Frog lives - the males for one year and the females for two years before they have to cross the road on their way to the mating ponds.

1 comment:

  1. This frog was dead on the Forsythe Road at our "Site D." It was the only roadkill across from the pond, and there were few females as yet in the pond. When I picked her up, her eye was still bright, though her skin was coated with road dust, but by the time I got her home to Aleta she'd dried up some more, and her eyes had died. -- fred.


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