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Garden Hitchhiker

Found this little fellow hiding under the damp end of a washrag draped over the edge of the bathroom sink this morning. More than a little surprised to see it, I wondered how it got into the house because this house is sealed pretty tightly against visitors from outside. Then I remembered when and how the creature managed to do it. It hitchhiked in on my shoulder.

Summer heat has settled in here now. It's been over 100ºF several days in a row so I've been going out during nighttime to water various places around the farm vegetable and fruits are growing. A couple of nights ago I picked up this hitchhiker while watering the grapevines. I felt it land on my shoulder when it got splashed by the water I was spraying on the leaves of the vine and I saw it had landed neatly in the hollow of my left shoulder. Unconcerned about it, I went on with my watering chore, certain it would hop off when it was ready to. And I knew if I let it leave on its own accord it would not urinate on me as it most likely would if I tried to scare it away. Then I forgot all about it being there.

So it must have stayed to enjoy my body warmth and then hopped off after I came back inside to finally go to bed for the night. I'm glad it survived here in the house for the two days and nights it was trapped. If I had found it dead in the house that would have been a painful discovery. I gently eased the tree frog onto the warmth of my palm, trying to avoid frightening it and causing it to pee on me in alarm. I failed at that but it stayed put on m palm as I carried it back outside and set it free in the still-damp gloom beneath the tomato bushes growing thick and green under the blistering summer sun.

I watched it assess its new surroundings for a moment, in a mild state of wonderment by how delighted this was making me feel even as my life situation had taken an unsettling, if not downright ugly turn after being burned out of house and home by my own government. It felt so good to still be able to enjoy such small events. The tree frog decided to hop deeper into the gloom beneath the tomato bushes and disappeared from sight. Thank you, Nature.

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