Tuesday, July 14

more on frogs...

last friday evening, after the opening of the wbcp/pbp exhibit at the national museum annex, we were on our way home when we ran into mike, chary and alice peering at something in the gutter at the museum parking lot.  it turned out that they were looking at a little frog-gy!  it had rained hard the entire afternoon, and (despite being in the middle of manila) a frog chorus was in full blast. it sounded like there were frogs all around us! this frog was croaking its heart out, hard to believe that such a loud sound could come from such a small creature!  while we were standing beside the gutter, talking about frogs-in-the-city, the frog chorus would suddenly stop and start again, with all the frogs turning silent in unison, as if controlled by a switch. (only my birder friends would actually stop, take notice and analyze this!) chary even mentioned how she would use animal communication as an example in her classes!

later, lala (herp and bird girl extraordinaire!)  came out of the museum, took a peek at our subject and readily identified it as the slender-digit chorus frog (Kaloula picta). lala is now my official frog-identifier! :)
when i was looking at my pictures later that night, i noticed something strange about one of its front feet.  it had an extra digit! i've read that frog deformities (though this was not so scary) could be caused by either parasites or pollution. hmmmm. project?!?

actually, initially, it reminded me of our molecular develpmental bio experiments in cps's class.

don't think i've turned frog-gy because this is my second amphibian post in 2 weeks!

Thursday, July 9

Sabine, my little monster dog

I chose Sabine from her litter because she paid the most attention to me.  She was my second lab, I knew not to take the rowdiest puppy, nor the smallest one. I took her home in February 2000.

She grew up to be a beautiful dog, and so much more the sport-y dog than Emily.  She loved playing ball, and chased birds and cats with gusto.  She swam in Caliraya, she swam in Anilao. She sat when I asked her to, lay down when I had to cut her nails.  When she slept in my room, she woke me up if she had to go in the middle of the night.  She was a good dog.

During the Ateneo Dog Walks, my companions would call her monster dog, because she would stand her ground against the bigger pit bulls and even a giant doberman.  Sungit was how they would describe her.

Still, she always had an air of dignity about her.  She would lie on her stomach, head up, front feet crossed in front of her, a ball by her side.

Her kidney problems started when she was 7 years old.  It  was after the heaviest downpour we had experienced in Tierra Pura, the only time that the flood waters reached the inside of the house.  It seemed a miracle that she recovered, and she was back to chasing balls.  She was back to normal, always greeting anyone with a ball, toy, or (in the lack of those) stone, ready to play fetch.

On Tuesday, after a very bad month of struggling with the recurrence of her renal problem, the only recurrence after 3 years, she finally closed her eyes to rest, and as I stroked her fur, breathed her last.

We buried her in the backyard, with one of her tennis balls.  I will miss my little monster dog.  I hope she now has endless fields to run around in and all the balls and birds and cats she wants to chase.

1999 - 2009

Saturday, July 4

of frogs (and more) on a rainy night

i don't like coming home late on rainy nights because there's usually this waiting for me when i open the gate:

it's no secret that i don't like frogs hopping about. especially tree frogs that stick on anything they land on!  eeeek.  it's no help that they can jump a meter. it wouldn't bother me so much if they always jumped away from me, but strangely they seem to have no preference, a jump is a jump. sometimes they land far, far away, once one landed on my leg as i was getting out of my car.

anyway, in spite of that, i still actually like having them in the garden.  it always seems like a good sign, ecology-wise, to have frogs around (i just wish they didn't jump around so much).  so it really bothered me when my mom cleared the creeping vegetation around our small pond because she thought there were too many frogs around, and that frogs meant that snakes would soon come and eat them (guess which sibling told her that). to her dismay (and my amusement), the frogs are still as numerous as ever.  anyway, that's another story.

so anyway last night, this guy was waiting for adri and me when we got to my house.  what the hey, might as well take its picture.  it's not one of those cute green chirping frogs from the pond, makes me wonder how many kinds of frogs we do have around.

rainy nights used to mean a cacophony of different frog sounds at night, now it's not quite the croaking chorus. well, at least there's still some of them around.  i'm still on my pro-frog campaign (yes, me sticking up for the frogs) with my mom.

anyway, while we were clicking away at this unusually un-reactive amphibian, i noticed drama on the garage walls: this very confident lizard trying to size up a very big butterfly.

the butte was all ragged and weak (but i wonder why it was flying about at almost midnight?), but managed to escape from the ambitious lizard. it landed on top of the car where it died a more dignified death.

so much creepy-crawly drama in the garage on a rainy night!

Thursday, July 2