Monday, August 15, 2016

It's Not Easy Being Green . . . by Kate James

Or my good deed . . . that wasn't!



I was minding my own business, working on the manuscript for the fourth book in my San Diego K-9 series when something caught my attention. There was a green blob between the mosquito netting and the wind/rain curtain for our gazebo, roughly where the red circle is in the picture below.

When I got up to take a closer look, I was horrified to find a little green frog trapped between the two layers. [Editorial note: amphibian lovers, it's safe to read on.] He was flattened against the rain curtain and was completely motionless. I couldn't even see him take a breath. I feared the worst, but had to try to rescue him, in case he was alive.

I untied the mosquito netting and secured it out of the way. The poor little guy was still hanging on to the curtain, unmoving. With a small stick, I tried ever so gently to get him onto a piece of cardboard.

Imagine my joy when he actually moved of his own volition! He was alive and apparently well! My joy was short lived and followed by horror, when the little guy used the cardboard as a springboard and (all two inches of him) catapulted from approximately four feet in the air onto a patio stone.

Thankfully he survived the leap and again (no thanks to me) appeared unharmed. He didn't seem very comfortable on the flagstone so I very gently nudged him towards the garden situated about a foot away from him.

I was so happy that he was back in his element and obviously enjoying it, as evidenced by him climbing up on a plant.

Isn't he cute? In the next picture, he even looks like he's smiling, doesn't he?!
Feeling pleased that I was able to help him and more than likely saved his life, I went back to working on my manuscript. I was getting absorbed in it again, when I saw the frog hop across the patio toward another, larger garden . . . or so I had assumed.

Imagine my surprise when he stopped short at another gazebo post . . . and proceeded to start climbing up the curtain fabric.
Quite agile, isn't he? He kept climbing until he reached the half-way point where the curtain and netting are both tied back . . .
. . .  and then tried to find a way under the netting . . .
Whether he likes it between the two layers because it shields him from the elements or perhaps protects him from natural predators (if not from me), he seems to purposefully want to be there.

So the moral of this story is that nature is pretty darn amazing and can do quite well on its own, and a little two-inch frog might be smarter than I am in some respects!

* * * * *

You can pick up our July Heartwarming releases this month at select Walmart stores. You can find a location near you here. Of course, they are available online through all major retailers.

In closing, huge thanks to the Ancient City Romance Authors and all the judges for selecting my 2015 releases The Truth About Hope and When the Right One Comes Along from among all the wonderful entries as finalists in the 2016 ACRA Readers' Choice Contest!
Also, sincere thanks to the First Coast Romance Writers and judges for selecting When the Right One Comes Along as a finalist in the National Excellence in Romance Fiction contest in the contemporary series category.

Finally, for dog lovers everywhere, Harlequin is featuring When I Found You on its website as part of The Dog Days of Summer promotion all month long. Fellow Heartwarming author, Dana Mentink also has a book featured: her Love Inspired Suspense, Seek and Find.

Happy reading!

Kate

38 comments:

  1. LOL! Great post, Kate! I love the tree frogs, they're amazing. We actually had one pay a visit in one of our guest bathrooms a few winters ago. He was singing up a storm.
    Congratulations on being selected as a finalist in the National Excellence in Romance Fiction contest. Well deserved indeed!

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    1. I'm glad you liked the post, Jill. I believe the little frog got so annoyed with me that he decided to relocate, as I haven't seen him since that fateful day!

      Thank you for the congratulations.

      I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  2. What a darling tory! Now, I honestly expect him to be names and show up in a book! He DOES look like he's smiling. And again, Kate, congratulations on your well deserved honors! I'd frame them and hang them. Though at this point, you probably now need a "Trophy Room" added onto the house. Ah, alas! Another project! I'm so very, very happy for you!!!

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    1. Aww, thank you so much, Catherine! I don't know about writing this little guy into a story, but we also have a large bull frog that I've conclude enjoys teasing the dogs. He hangs around the back door where we let them out and hopes around staying (thankfully) just out of their reach. I might have him make his home in the fenced compound where the SDPD work with their dogs at the division! As long as he never gets caught or hurt, of course. Hmmm . . . :-)

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  3. I love the tree frogs, too. They get in between the doors at our house, and I have no idea how they get there, but they hop out happily when we open the door. Add my congratulations to Jill's, and she's right--it is well deserved!

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    1. Thanks, Liz!

      Reading between the lines, I suppose the little frog WAS laughing at me that (despite being an outdoorsy, nature-loving person) I didn't know he WANTED to be up there, under the netting! :-)

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  4. Awww...what a cute story! Here in the desert we don't have cute little tree frogs. Instead we have large, bumpy toads that come out during the monsoon rains. We had 3 that came to visit every year and I always enjoyed watching them. It fascinates me how they disappear every year until the rains come. Our son's dog decided it was okay to nudge one with his nose and his face swelled up like a balloon. But at least he didn't lick it or eat it...that would NOT have gone well. Apparently toads kill more dogs in Arizona than rattlesnakes do.

    Congrats on the awards! I love the K9 trilogy. (Wait, it's not a trilogy anymore. What do you call 4 books?) I can't wait to read the next one.

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    1. I was smiling until I got to the part that frogs can be poisonous to dogs. Maybe I'll have to relocate that bullfrog (see my reply to Catherine), just to be safe. I've already relocated a number of snakes!

      Thank you for the congrats and kind words. I've suggested that we start referring to the K-9 books as the San Diego K-9 Series. What do you think?

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    2. I don't think it's all frogs, just certain toads. There are 7 varieties of poisonous toads in Arizona. Some are worse for dogs than others. The one that Pamela's dog picked up was definitely poisonous. I'm glad the dog didn't eat it.

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    3. I'm also glad Lucy didn't eat the frog. We have some poisonous frogs, too, and the level of toxicity varies. The good news is our pups like to "play" with rather than eat things that live outside. (I wish I could say the same thing about Logan and socks.)

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  5. What a fun post, Kate! I loved your frog story. Congratulations on your well-deserved awards and your continuing San Diego K-9 Series!

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    1. Thank you, Amie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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  6. Fantastic pictures. Obviously, the frog prefers your curtains.

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    1. Thanks, Marion. I might have scared him off, because I haven't seen him since that day last week. ... or maybe he's so smart he figured out how to hide better from me!

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  7. Kate! If a prince shows up at your doorstep, you'll know what happened to the frog! Great photos and fun story. Congratulations on he well-deserved accolades.

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    1. Ha, ha! I haven't kissed any frogs and I'm quite happy with my husband. :-)

      Thank you for the kind words!

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  8. Kate, love your valiant rescue attempt. Wouldn't you love to know what he was thinking when he scaled the curtain again? Maybe something like---I'll show her. Or na na na! But he's cute and I'm sure will end up in a book some day.

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    1. :-) He was probably thinking all sorts of nasty things about me, Roz. He was more than likely having a nice little snooze when I rudely awakened him. Then he had to climb up and find another spot.

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  9. Kate, I see a future for you in animal rescue(; What a cute story. I think maybe he just wants to be your writing mascot. Congratulations again on all your accolades! So proud of you.

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    1. I've been doing animal rescue (unofficially) in some form or another most of my life! When I discovered we had mice in our basement at our cottage, I had to find humane mouse traps and relocated them. (Okay, that didn't work really well either, because the mice were smart enough to figure out how to get the cheese and get back out of the traps with it!).

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Carol, and thanks for the congratulations!

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  10. Great story about the frog. I hope it turns up in a novel. smile We are camping in Oregon and every once in awhile a frog shows up on a shower curtain. Too funny.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post, Sandra. There seems to be a common theme about the frog turning up in a novel. I will definitely have to give it some thought!

      Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.

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  11. Congrats on all the finals!! Super sweet frog story and pics :). I love frogs and always find myself 'rescuing' them off my driveway from both our cars and a feral cat that lives in our garage. We have a wooded area and creek on the other side of the house and you'd think they'd stay there rather than on our dangerous and hot driveway!

    When I was a teen in TX, I rescued one out of our swimming pool. It looked like it was too late, but I winged it with some modified cpr...pumping his little chest with my finger and blowing in his mouth (no, I didn't quite kiss the frog and wasn't ready for a prince charming yet ;). He actually came around! Then he hopped off quickly towards an area of our yard we called (with reason) 'snake valley'. I like to believe he survived that adventure too, but I'll never know...

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    1. Thank you, Rula . . . but congratulations to you, too, on your finals! Heartwarming has a pretty darn good record amongst all of us!

      Okay, you win the prize for the length a person will go to, to save a frog. I have a very vivid imagine in my mind of you doing CPR and (almost) kissing the frog! If the frog story gets into one of my books, I am going to embellish it with your experience. I bet he did survive.

      I couldn't even guess at the number of snakes and snapping turtles I relocated at our cottage in an effort to keep the dogs safe. For all readers . . . please do NOT ever try kissing a snapping turtle.

      (I expect Rula knows this, but in case anyone is not familiar with them, they have jaws that could take a dog's paw off and they are lightning-fast at swinging their heads around. The cute little painted turtles, on the other hand, have an entirely different defense mechanism. If you try picking them up, they'll urinate.)

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  12. I'm laughing.

    We - Lucy the dog and I - went for a walk at the park and Lucy picked up a frog with her mouth. It must have tasted very bad. She immediately spat it out (frog unharmed) and for the next hour she was Lucy the amazing spitting dog.

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    1. Lucy, the amazing spitting dog creates another vivid visual I might have to work into a novel! :-) Thanks for sharing the story, Pamela, and I'm glad the post made you laugh.

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  13. That's funny. You had the best intentions, but Mr. Frog obviously had his own agenda.

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    1. It's a little humbling to be outsmarted by a little frog, but so be it! I'm glad you found it funny, Patricia. I had fun writing this post.

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  14. Loved your story of the frog on a mission! My indoor-outdoor encounters with creatures seem to be more of the 'eeek' kinds. Like, a chipmunk in the bedroom or snake in the kitchen. A frog encounter would be a pleasure. Great photos! He (?) was a cutie.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Janice. I am glad you enjoyed the post!

      Interesting that you would mention a chipmunk. I'm sitting in the same spot right now as I was when I saw the frog. There's a chipmunk that has become so accustomed to having me sit here (with or without or dogs) that he'll go race right by me to get from a garden on one side of the patio to a crab apple tree on the other and back again! If he wasn't so fast, I would take pictures of him for another post! :-)

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  15. Nature has a mind of its own. That's why the grass in my flowerbeds always seems healthier than the grass in the yard.

    Such a cute little frog. I've always been fond of them. We had mostly big warty toads when I was a kid, and I liked them too.

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    1. Yes, nature . . . and this little frog! We have the warty variety, too. They are a lot bigger and less photogenic. Thanks for visiting the blog, Beth!

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  16. You definitely surprised me - I was sure one of the dogs ate it after you set it free! LOL Glad it all ended happy, with the frog alive and well :)

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    1. Oh, nooooo! I didn't think of one of the dogs gobbling him up. Good thing they weren't outside with me at the time!

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  17. I can honestly say I am one person who does not like frogs or toads. One time one got inside my home. I don't know how it got in but it too, hung on to a side area near my curtain. I had my neighbor come and remove it, which he did! He or she never came back. Then years later my second husband thought he would be funny and tossed one near my feet! I screamed! I really do not like them. Where I live now I have irises. One time my mother in law said to me by watering the irises I would have"toads" I didn't know she meant "toes" for the irises!! When I did see numerous baby toads I really believed her!!! I eventually learned she said"toes". I know have lots of irises and no toads!!!

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    1. I'm glad you weren't with me to witness my misadventure with the little frog. Actually, I have a follow-up story, too. I was blowing the leaves off the same back patio a couple of days ago, and to my horror, I ended up sending a larger bullfrog tumbling along. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt either, and I think it surprised him enough for him to not return!

      Thanks for sharing your stories, Pamela!

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  18. What a li'l cutie, and aren't YOU a sweetheart to save him! :-) I have a little brown toad that hangs out in a potted plant on my front porch. He doesn't seem the least bit afraid when I poke around, deadheading the flowers, and on occasion, hops into the stream when I water the plant. Communing with nature can be so uplifting, can't it! Wishing you a beautiful weekend, m'friend!

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    1. I hope I saved him, Loree, since I haven't seen him around since that fateful day. Now it's a chipmunk spending time on our patio. He collects crab apples and munches on them either on the patio slabs or on a large flat rock that is part of an adjacent garden. I never realized what messy eaters chipmunks are until now! There are tiny bits of apple strewn everywhere.

      I love the idea of a little brown toad hanging out in your potted plant!

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