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Catching frogs: a time-honored rite of summertime


Catching a frog – © 2012 Karina Chapman


“Never try to catch two frogs with one hand” – Chinese proverb


Those of us who were blessed enough to grow up in a place with fields, woods, and even streams remember the simpler days of summertime when we were kids. Chasing tadpoles in a little brook, catching fireflies in a jar, even bounding madly after a particularly energetic frog were all favorite pastimes.

The times have changed, of course–we live in a technological world, and our children are the natives now. They live and breathe technology and computers in a way we once breathed the outdoors on a summer day.

And yet…

My youngest daughter was today happily learning how to push a lawn mower behind her dad, just like I learned with my Dad when I was little. And as they mowed, they came across a frog who, with a mighty leap, barely missed being mowed over like so many weeds.

We now have, if not a “pet”, at least a visitor to the family. She knows we shouldn’t keep him–frogs are not happy kept inside, even in the nicest of aquariums. Even at this moment, she’s proclaiming, “Dad, he doesn’t look very happy!”

However, even when “Hoppy” returns to his home in nature, we will continue to be on the lookout for frogs, and fireflies, and the occasional snake.

Because that’s still what brings excitement and wonder to summertime.


About AlohaKarina

AlohaKarina (aka Karina Chapman) is a Writer, Photographer, and Educator who teaches middle school Science and Social Studies in Southern Maine. A cohort of the Maine Governor's Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership, and a National Endowment of the Humanities Scholar (Abolitionism studies), she is credentialed to teach K-8 (all subjects) in both Maine and California. Karina has worked as a photographer, weekly columnist, and reporter for the Eureka Times-Standard daily newspaper in Northern California. She has also written for both and (as K.M. Chapman). Karina's superpower is speed-pouring killer margaritas. If she had to choose where to live for the rest of her life, she would choose Kennebunkport, Hawaii Kai, and San Francisco.


16 thoughts on “Catching frogs: a time-honored rite of summertime

  1. That’s so true … we must never lose our sense of wonder!

    My first summer, when I’d moved to Quebec, was very hot. We had a pool, which I took advantage of all the time. One night, I was out swimming there … or just floating around, rather, and that was the first time I saw fireflies in real life. What a wonderful experience that was!

    Posted by reb | July 5, 2012, 9:02 pm
    • Fireflies are magical. We had tadpoles and frogs and snakes and salamanderS when I was little , but not fireflies. We saw those on our trip cross-country for our honeymoon. I was 25 and our cousins in Nebraska called them “lightning bugs”. It was so cool. I still love seeing them. They feel so magical!

      Posted by AlohaKarina | July 5, 2012, 9:17 pm
  2. I had a small stream nearby and would catch tadpoles and newts. and when older and braver it was snakes. Infact this has made me think about things a little more. ;)

    Posted by cobbies69 | July 6, 2012, 4:25 am
  3. I miss catching tadpoles and fireflies. I grew up in the countryside for a part of my life but I live in Miami where we don’t have fireflies just click beetles with glowing green eyes, but they’re not the same. I want to make sure my kids have the opportunity to catch all these and explore the outdoors no matter how advanced and technology driven the world is by that time.

    Posted by katperez427 | July 6, 2012, 11:20 am
  4. Such an awesome photo and post. When I was young, we lived near a brook. I have a sister who, when she was younger, took the place of what any brother could be. She was a tomboy through and through. And, well, I was a little “princess.” Woods, bugs, slimy little creatures … yuck. LOL! She would catch frogs and put them in my room or wherever she could to scare me. I look back at those times as fond memories now. :D

    Posted by fiztrainer | July 6, 2012, 9:36 pm
    • lol! My older daughter is also a “princess”. She won’t do any of those things. Instead, she’s inside with her nose in a book or on the interned–Goodreads, Shelfari. The only worm she will have anything to do with is a book-worm! :)

      I won’t mention the “putting frogs in her room” thing to my youngest daughter. I don’t want to give her any ideas! lol!

      Posted by AlohaKarina | July 7, 2012, 9:08 am
  5. Frog, snakes, turtles, and all manner of creatures are all part of what make childhood an adventure.

    Posted by Jeff Sinon | July 7, 2012, 2:28 pm

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