Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Night of the Rana

Last Night, I slept next to a tank in the desert of the great Altiplano.

As nightfall came, that tank woke up with an ear deafening croaking.

Little did I know that the previous post

would serve as a foreshadowing.

For this night would find its aural reality completely dominated

by frogs.

Whether they were Pobblebonks, Spadefoots, Banjos, Bells,

Booroolong Frogs, Fleay's Barred Frogs, Giant Barred Frogs,

Peppered Frogs, Philoria Pughis, or Tusked Frogs,

I don't know.

I presume that they were all Mexican.

Now let me be clear here, I am not a big camper.

I was a good boy scout and do it quite well, but I don't love it.

Last night was a little different.

The Huichole guide who had brought us to this sacred place,

Blessed the fire before he started it.

He then used his hands to raise the flames into his chest,

as if he was bathing in the flames.

Our guide then set two sticks on each side of the rock fire.

They were to be used only as fire sticks.

Towards the end of the day,

We walked in the desert fields surrounding the green oasis we were in,

and soon our guide found the deer signature he was looking for.

We set up a little altar there and then our guide blessed that spot.

We gave thanks and we communed with the spirits of that land.

During the night many powerful thunderstorms managed

to find their way around us as we slept in the open air.

We did cover ourselves with a tarp as the 4 A M storm approached,

All the night, the ranas made their mating calls at volumes and intensities

that I had only formerly reserved for for airliners, firetrucks.

and cement plants.

And I mean they were really loud,

as if we were in the first act of some creepy Stephen King movie.

We didn't talk much last night or even today.

Perhaps we had all heard enough from the Ranas. (Perhaps deaf)

We watched the clouds, and the great mountains around us.

We watched the occasional dust devil reach up to touch the sky.

We visited and got a complete tour of a 200 year old Mescal factory.

We explored an irrigated farm with its slightly leaky, perfectly level

almost crumbling elevated aquaducts.

Late in the afternoon

We pulled into Matehuala and decided to go to a seafood restaurant.

A few of us ate frog meat.

The rest of us liked the idea.

A lot.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rain awakens the frogs. They sing their mating songs from some of the strangest places. Fate sent me to the lake near my house in the wee hours after the passing of a storm. The frogs were singing, at least five different songs, from a loud ugly croak that resembled a honk to a shrill crip.

I sat on the bank of our six acre tank and listened. Ever so often there would be a loud kersplash. A frog leaping into the water in search of his or her sweetie. Then suddenly all sound would cease. An erie silence woul fall on the land. For a few minutes no one croaked or sang. Then one at a time they all started again.

Funny thing I never saw any of the frogs, just heard them.

Tonight a line of storms came creeping in from San Angelo. I watched on my laptop the Air Force radar sites in Del Rio and San Angelo.

An amzing thing happened that I am want to explain. A huge storm formed over san Antonio and then moved westward toward Eagle Pass. Storms aren't susposed to do that. There was a line of storms coming out of the desert west of Piedras Negras to meet the one from San Antonio. They crashed together over the Rio Bravo. Very interesting it was and no one had forecast it.

6:33 AM  

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