Lately we’ve seen cooler temperatures with periodic bursts of rain, filling up Farthing Pond and our big rain cubes. Last week I estimated that we had about 2,000 gallons of water at our disposal, so when Levi told me he wanted to “build some waterfalls” I was happy to oblige. I just let the water run from one of the 275-gallon cubes. Levi yanked the hose from me and started piling rocks and other debris on the sidewalk, joyfully watching the water trickle down the front of the yard.
After a while he started getting more creative, diverting the water flow through some old pvc pipe and letting it fill up an empty pond shell I had lying around.
It got interesting when he discovered that he could make his garden pinwheels turn if he directed the water flow towards them. It seemed like a perfect time to talk to him about the merits of turbines and hydropower. I told him he’d made an important discovery.
Feeling inspired, we turned our attention to Farthing Pond. What if we “made” a waterfall, or at least the appearance of one, trickling down from the pond? It would be a nice visual. And so we began pulling up large rocks and digging into the ground in front of the pond.
On this day the temperatures were much cooler. Levi asked me what the frogs of Farthing Pond did in the winter. I explained to him that frogs are cold-blooded, their body temperatures taking on the temperature of the environment around them. During the winter, they go into a state of hibernation, and some can be exposed to temperatures below freezing. I told him I thought they might be hanging out at the bottom of the pond, in the muck and the mire.
Minutes later, as I was pulling up a big rock to make room for our waterfall, I uncovered one of our beloved frogs. “He’s alive, and in perfect hibernation!” I yelled excitedly.
We just stared at him in amazement for a few minutes. “Looks like they love to burrow,” I told him. After that we decided not to unearth any more rocks. Let sleeping frogs lie.