Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Warning to a Noisy Treefrog

Little froglet in the water,
don’tcha think you really otter
save that croaking for tonight
when you’re safely outta sight?

Though I love your creaky chorus
pulsing through the springtime forest,
how I hope a hovering hawk
will not end your earnest grok!

Soon, I hope, a loving mate will
come to join you. I can’t wait till
all your fertile eggs are spread,
safely in their waterbed.

Okay, I just had to get that out of my system. I've just finished the 8th proof/edit of Nature & Travel Sketch Journaling and I just had to take a break and do something else for awhile.

The weather has been cold and wet except for a few bright days, just enough to get our hopes up here in southern Oregon, then dash them back down again. We've had 4½" of rain in the last couple of weeks, so that sort of shows you where the gloom gauge is set.

However, it is GREAT for frogs. Just outside my studio door is a pretty little pond I built many years ago, and about 40 feet away is a tub I sank into the forest floor and filled with water. The rain has kept them to the overflowing mark lately.

Each of them has a resident boyfrog, who has spent the last two weeks producing operatic extravaganzas, hoping to attract girlfrogs to their little ponds. Using binoculars, I can see them floating, chins pumped up like balloons, creating concentric, radiating rings on the still water with each croak (except when it's raining, then you can't see the vibes).

In the Nature & Travel Sketch Journaling workbook I've been crafting and endlessly (it seems) proofing and editing, there's a page on creating simple poetry in your journal, and I'd just finished polishing the rules for the umpteenth time (I can't chance ANY misunderstanding of the material in these workbooks because I'm not there to explain if the text isn't clear). So I thought I'd just try out the instructions. The froggy poem was the result.

There's a BUNCH of great stuff in this workbook. It's my best one yet, and longer than the others by a couple of pages. I've put some examples from my Costa Rica, Oregon beach, and Hawaii sketch journals, to clarify stuff I talk about. It has given me a major yen to travel.

I'll include one of my most unlikely sketches here. It's an Indian water buffalo, pulling a wooden oxcart filled with picnickers down the beach. As they passed in front of my amazed eyes, I had the minimal presence of mind to snap some photos, but there was no time to draw them, of course. That evening I sketched the picture into my sketchbook off the screen of my digital camera.

Hope you like it. And my froggy poem. You can copy the poem and use it for anything you like. I don't care. Have fun!

Irene Brady


  1. Irene,
    I am going to copy your poem and post it "By the shores of Gitche Gumee,". Longfellow will be very proud :)

  2. Hi Bob,
    Why, thank you! As a poet, I am totally untutored, except as a little child when my farmer daddy, as I followed him in the fields, used to begin extemporaneous poems, one line, and encourage me to create the next line. We'd take turns, as he irrigated the cornfields, making up funny rhymes.

    Give me a link so I can go see it where you post it! Cheers, Irene

  3. Sooooo good to see you post here!! Love the poem and the workbook sounds wonderful!!

  4. Beautiful sketches and LOVELY post Irene - LOVE the frog stories! And beautiful poem as well, I'd like to post it on HEDGIE's NATURE JOURNAL some time ( when I do a suitable froggy post. Adore frogs...

    Your Journal looks like a great workbook - when is it going to be published?

  5. Hi Maree and Pam,

    I just uploaded the workbook TODAY!!!!! Its at (follow the link to the workshop workbook page).

    Glad y'all liked the treefrog poem. You're welcome to post it anywhere you want. I'd love to be notified when you do.

    Thanks for your kind remarks!


    You can keep up with my workbook postings at

  6. Hi Irene,
    I adore the frog and the froggy poem and the water buffalo sketch. You have really brightened my morning.
    Looking for more,


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