The thing about amphibians is this: they are what is commonly referred to as indicator species. For people who care about and study the quality of the environment, amphibians offer the first signs of things run amok. Frogs are amphibians- they live both in and out of the water- and wonder of wonders- they can breathe through their skin. While humans are constrained in breath by their rib cages (except for certain yoginis), frogs are not. They are vertebrates who have only the most vestigial of ribs that do not encircle their lungs. That’s why they feel all flat and heavy about the midrif. Also they have thin and porous skin that absorbs oxygen. Fortunately or not, it also absorbs whatever pollution they encounter along the way and thus, they become “indicator species.” They are among the very first to suffer from toxins in the environment and scientists turn to frogs for signs of a healthy-or not- environment. Mutations, problems with egg development and other aberrations let them know that P (ollution) rhymes with T (rouble) and that means right here in the river city of life.
For me to go on like this it must be Monday and that means it’s all happening at the zoo. But also, you’ll recall that I was speaking about my very own mermaid (surely they are and she is amphibian?) in the last entry and I posted that excellent photo of- what??? Huh. You all fail biology 101 while I continue to pat myself on the back for that particular high speed image. Remember, I’m trying to master the art (and vision) of manual digital photography.
was this (Hyla squirella or squirrel tree frog), sitting on the edge of the Florida water fountain just a moment shy of when I snapped.
And speaking of things that are “now you see them-now you don’t” and things that bloom when you aren’t looking and least expect it- well, that bud (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) that grew so large from that very tiny start I stuck in the soil opened up in the middle of the night to this:
Everything is shape shifting.