Just Call Me “Nature Tour Guide”

I really should be doing something else at the moment. You know, something like cleaning the bathroom, or putting those clothes up that I’ve piled on the chair, or vacuuming the room. But Bubby is sleeping and I’d much rather be telling you a story…so I think I’ll do just that.

Remember Sally and Mander? Well, as much as I loved them with much love and fondness of heart, I decided that they would be far better off in the wild woods where they belonged, so I let them go. It was also getting harder to take time to feed them. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed pillaging through the leaves looking for grubs, but it was a funny feeling, parking Gideon in the stroller beside me as I sat down in the yard digging around. I wonder what my neighbors were thinking as they observed my daily ritual?

So long, Mander. May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the racoons never find you. May the centipedes be a plenty. And may your love to Sally endure forever, culminating in many more sally’s and mander’s for generations to come. (That’s my own rendition of the famous Irish blessing.)
So, while I was out in the yard, I decided to do a bit of exploring. Have you ever explored your own yard? It’s amazing what you can discover if you just stop and be still for a few moments and look all around you.

When I was a little girl, I would walk around the yard and pretend that I was a nature tour guide. I would explain to my make believe audience all about the various wild flowers and wild life on our tour. The funny thing is, I was really only pointing out dandelions and Cicadas but suddenly they were no ordinary flowers and bugs. No, these were exotic dandelions, and Malaysian Cicadas of rarest breed. And you can imagine with me that there was a hushed silence that fell over my audience as they held on to my every word and gaped in bewilderment at my remarkable finds.

Now, I must say that it’s nice to finally have a real live audience. Even if he is only a little over 5 months old.

What’s that, Mr. Bubbers? You say you’d like to join my nature tour? I suppose we can squeeze you in. First, I’d like to show you this handsome tree frog.

Notice it’s amazing camouflage. You see, this is not just any tree frog, Mr. Bubbers. This is a highly poisonous Moroccan limbo tree frog. How do I know? Because I’m the nature tour guide.
(Note to reader–please do not take seriously anything else you read for the rest of this post. While some content may be true, I can assure you that most has been highly exaggerated and possibly even made up for the merriment of my readers.)
Notice carefully the dorsal and ventral sides of the frog. Yes, they are bumpy and warty. I will come back to those later.

But first, Mr. Bubbers, I should like to educate you regarding the Nictitating Membrane–otherwise known as the transparent or translucent third eyelid present in some animals that can be drawn across the eye for protection and to moisten the eye while also keeping visibility.

Next, I shall point out his Vomerine teeth. Yes, I know, that’s a very big word for you, Mr. Bubbers, but let me explain. Vomerine teeth are relatively vestigial in frogs, located in the palatine region between the internal nares. They are small projections in the top of a frog’s mouth that function in holding and captured prey.

Now, remember the bumps and warts I was referring to earlier? What’s that? You weren’t paying attention? Well, listen up because this is of utter importance…

Oh, no! You must refrain from touching! You see, those bumps and warts are full of poisonous toxins! I am one of the few people on the earth, skillfully trained enough to handle such a dangerous creature. You really should keep your hands, feet, and all other objects to yourself at all times.

Ahem…Mr. Buuubers. Over here. Look over here. At ME. I’m the tour guide. You’re supposed to be the interested, spell-bound tourist.

Now, we shall release the highly poisonous Moroccan limbo tree frog back into the wild.

And suddenly, a hushed silence fell over the crowd…perhaps I should have left out the part about the Nictitating Membrane.


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