There’s Always a Plague in Arkansas
I moved to Arkansas five years ago. Let me say up front that I really like it. It’s friendly. The cost of living is pretty low. And parts of the state are really pretty. Not the part where I live, but still.
But there are plagues, or maybe I’m just not accustomed to so much wildlife. I live in a cabin on wooded property surrounded by rice fields. Before moving to Arkansas, I didn’t even know we grew rice in the United States.
The plague of frogs
Last night, with my headlamp strapped to my head, I crossed the yard to let my sister’s dog out. As I passed my Dodge Journey parked in the driveway, the light from my lamp revealed four little green tree frogs clinging to my car. My old broken down Jeep had five or six frogs clinging to it as well. My sister’s camper had a couple stuck to the door. Toads leaped along the ground as I walked. I stopped and talked to the frog who was sitting on the hood of my Dodge. I confess I couldn’t resist picking him up. He didn’t seem to enjoy the experience and hopped away as soon as he could. And, yes, he peed on me. It’s okay. I still love him.
It wasn’t a proper plague, but it was a lot of frogs. Let me be clear: I love them all. Their little frog feet are perfect.
The proper plague of frogs occurred a couple of weeks ago as I was driving home in the dark. On a stretch of highway about a half-mile from the gravel road the leads to my cabin, I heard tiny thumps against the undercarriage of my car. I could see them hopping in the glow of my headlights. I felt bad about hitting them, but there were too many to avoid. Had I tried to stop for them, I would have been there until morning. And straddling frogs on the road doesn’t work: as soon as your car goes over them, they jump up and hit you. I must have killed a hundred frogs in that half-mile drive.
I am so sorry, sweet baby frogs. I loved you all.
The plague of crickets
Occasionally, there will be an insect plague of some kind. Always mosquitoes, of course, what with the rice fields so close. This year, we’ve also had an overabundance of cave crickets, which I find super creepy. They’ve decided to congregate outside my…