Tree Frogs and Fireflies

Moving is for mad men. You spend hours storing, packing, boxing and purging and once the move is complete, you spend hours trying to figure out what the chicken scratch on the side of each box actually means. It’s pure insanity.

On our third night in the new house, we just had to quit unpacking. We brought a heat wave with us and after two and a half days of temperatures in triple digits, a night off to relax in the pool was just what the doctor ordered.

Uncle Walt had been entertaining our kids so we could unpack and probably needed a night off as well. So Stephanie and I left a billion half empty boxes strewn around the house and walked up to the pool as sweat rolled down our faces. I wasted no time as I kicked off my shoes, threw my shirt into a vacant chair and jumped into the pool. As I came up for a breath of fresh air, my body temperature instantly dropped thirty degrees. It was invigorating.

Stephanie, Uncle Walt, the kids and I just relaxed the night away in the pool as the miles of travel and hours of unpacking boxes faded into the background. We were tired but we were happy as we embraced new places, new adventures, a new land of possibilities and the new sounds that awaited our arrival.

Wait! What was that sound?! We heard a weird sound as the sun settled behind the western skyline and we quickly decided to investigate. As we scoured the area just beyond the pool fence for the source of the odd sound, one of our new neighbors told us that it was a tree frog. It was an amazing discovery and before we knew it, the first adventure in our new home had begun. We couldn’t wait to get home and scour the internet for information on tree frogs (but that is another story for another day).

The pool closed at nine o’clock but we stayed in the water as long as we could. As I was drying myself off and getting ready to head home for the evening, my heart skipped a beat when I noticed the flicker of little lights filling the night air; Lightning Bugs!

I grew up in Roxbury, CT. One of the highlights of my childhood was that our backyard was littered with fireflies. My brothers and I would stay out late on hot summer nights and catch lightning bugs. We would poke holes in the metal cap of a jar and fill the container with as many fireflies as we could catch. And when my mother would finally call us inside for the night, I would bring the bottle of lightning bugs into my room and fall asleep to the calming flicker of my own personal fireworks show.

My children had never seen fireflies. I was awestruck by the wonderment that sparkled in their eyes as they chased the twinkling lights through the parking lot. We caught two and put them into a mesh container that came with one of Josh’s science kits and later in the evening, I smiled to myself as I watched my son fall asleep just as I had done when I was his age.

Yes, moving is for mad men, but mad men are adventurers! And so far, our trek has already opened a whole new world to my entire family. But for me, the true adventure lies in the wide eyed look of intrigue my children have every time they see or learn something new. They are still at the age when the world is filled with mystery, fascination, and a kind of folklore that buffers them from reality. And for a small moment every day, when the world mystifies each of them, I get to join them on another voyage into an endless world of possibilities.

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12 Responses to Tree Frogs and Fireflies

  1. Walt says:

    Great piece! I almost wasn’t able to finish it, though, because I nearly died laughing when I clicked on the link that leads to the recording of the tree frogs. I can’t believe you found that. HAHAHA! Only they must have recorded domesticated tree frogs. You have the wild variety. In fact, yours must drink a lot of caffeine because yours are 1000 times louder. Instead of “honk” they go “HOOOOONK!!!!!” I really loved watching those kids of yours discover lightning bugs, too!

  2. Patrick says:

    Good Luck and God Bless with this new chapter of your lives!

  3. C N A says:

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  4. Stephanie says:

    It was even more funny to see your face when you “discovered” snakes and lizards in our new surroundings too! Here’s to many more positive adventures to come!

  5. Uncle Mario says:

    One of the best stories so far! In Miami we have to be careful about those lights, They may belong to an alligator!

  6. ~c says:

    doug,

    As I read your article “tree frogs and fireflies,” I was cracking up. My first night here alone (my husband had to work late) i thought there were monsters surrounding my house. i could not identify the crazy sound! it sounded like it was coming from the backyard but each time i turned on the flood light the sound stopped. when my husband finally got home i explained the creature sounds and told him how scared i was that we were under attack! so he started to laugh and came with me to the backyard. when he turned on the light and showed me the pool i nearly died! there were about twenty frogs stuck around the pool liner!! it is crazy how loud those little guys are!

    glad you are guys are enjoying your new adventure! !

    ~C

  7. n s says:

    Greetings, just a brief note to share that i’m new to your blog but I’m most certainly a new fan.

  8. Kelly-Ann Charland says:

    Doug,

    Love the piece and the sentiment within it. Recently, I moved from the city to the periphery of the Cape. I simply adore the sounds of nature that ensconce my little cottage. The squealing of ambulances and cop cars have been replaced by the 4 a.m. musical performance of a precious little song bird.

    Thank you for sharing. Keep writing and please don’t forget to release the poor little fireflies so they may continue shining! : )

    ~Kelly-Ann

  9. Annie says:

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  10. James D Despain says:

    Thanks for the great post. Bookmarked

  11. rebecca says:

    I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  12. Leigh Kontogianis says:

    Great article. Lucky me, I found your site by accident. I’ll be back.

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