Frog face

I wasn’t able to find any frogs at Hammond Pond on Tuesday, but I did see several at Mount Auburn Cemetery last night, when Leslee and I met up for an impromptu after-work walk.

Head to head

The best way to find frogs, I’ve found, is not to look for them. The various frogs I’ve found over the years don’t typically look like frogs: they’re either floating with only their heads above water, thereby hiding their frog-shaped form, or they’re covered with algae or duckweed, thereby masking their froggy coloring.

When you’re looking for frogs alongside a pond, you can look for movement…but then you’ll see only a splash that announces where a frog used to be. If you try to find frogs by looking for movement, you won’t find any frozen, well-camouflaged fellows watching you with one or both eyes poised right above water level: you won’t find, in other words, the frogs who have found you.

The trick to finding resting frogs is to forget how frogs are shaped, how frogs are colored, or how frogs move. Instead, when you’re looking for frogs, the eyes have it: their eyes, not yours. When you’re looking for frogs in or alongside a pond, what you’re looking for is any small glint or glimmer that isn’t water, isn’t shore, and isn’t either vegetable or mineral. Many of those unidentified glints and glimmers are frog-eyes, and they’re watching you, waiting to see whether you stop then step closer or walk by, unaware.