My gardening-genius sister of the far northern city has been collecting aged horse manure after work - trowel scoop by trowel scoop, into large plastic bags carefully placed in her car trunk. (Yes, with patience being a virtue and all, she’s got a head start toward saintliness of some sort.) Last week, she texted something about metaphorical teaspoons and a photo of a sunset-silhouetted mountain of manure, with her comparatively teeny tiny car in the foreground. Her garden’s really going to be great this year.
Today she texted that our horse-whispering cousin’s new acreage has "singing frogs in the slough, ribbet ribbet", (insert happy froggy emoticon) which made me think firstly, ’It’s such a Canadian thing to have fond thoughts of a slough.’ And nextly, ‘Surely, there exists a Canadian ode to spring-singing slough frogs?!’
Thoughts such as this are why Google is my Home screen.
I discovered that Lord de Tabley wrote, according to ‘The Living Age, Volume 270’, “…a charming set of interlinked sonnets to the frogs that sing unceasingly from early spring to harvest-time in every lake and pond and secret slough from end to end of Canada.“ Here’s my favourite find; may your very own memory spring to mind.
“Wrinkled oaks and plumy bracken,
Milkwort, skull-cap, sweet gale-bush,
Frog-pipe, more than you can reckon,
Cotton grass and flowering rush…”
- from ‘The Dirge of Day’, Lord de Tabley (1835-1895)