Amphibian Meditation

                                                                             ~ Kathy Schillemat

It all comes back to me, out on the road at night, while the rain falls and the peepers are a wall of sound in my head. The feeling of love for these smallest of creatures, these wiggling, wriggling, wet and oh, so alive amphibians earnestly striving to fill the measure of their creation. I cannot stop myself from helping them make it to the relative safety of the wetlands. The road and its hazards are unnatural impediments. I move each frog and salamander from its rough, unyielding surface to one side or the other, depending on which way the creature is oriented, to grasses and sand and water, to find their way to procreation.

The females are swollen with eggs, while the males are swollen with voices meant to entice and encourage. It is a frenzy of sound and movement. Small peepers jump with amazing strength and vigor. Spotted salamanders undulate with speed and conviction. They are impatient and eager. They do not want to linger long in my hands. Off, off to waiting mates.

I am both helper and witness to this majestic season. These creatures didn’t ask for me to come out on this rainy night, but neither did they ask for roads and cars to come between them and their future. So here I am, walking slowly, my flashlight scanning the night for their fragile bodies. Here I am, cupping them as they jump or wiggle. Here I am, doing what I can.

Click below to hear the opinion of peepers recorded earlier this spring.

Other Nature Things

The Bear

The Common Mergansers

The Goose

The Beaver Dam


By |2021-06-01T17:52:58-04:00May 4, 2021|Articles, Essays, Nelson in Common|3 Comments


  1. Linda Singer May 5, 2021 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Always nice to read your nature observations….

  2. Candyce May 5, 2021 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Once again a marvelous nature tale. You have a gift for the rhythm of the words as well as the rhythms of life – no matter how small.

    I hope to read more about your wildlife adventures.

  3. Marcia Smith May 8, 2021 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Karen’s wonderful story about Frank was bittersweet. Wonderfully written- so meaningful- a reminder of how much she is missed.

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