Plague me not, amphibian!

As the twilight waned to full night, there came a call, a hue and cry, a distinctive breeek from the aft yard. Pleased with the recent rains and the comfortable evening temperature, a grey treefrog had chosen a perch somewhere nearby and was advertising its desire for a mate. I ventured out with a flashlight, and soon located the pebbled lovestruck lothario sitting atop the fence not far from the pond, within easy sight and reach. I had not bothered to collect the camera for this brief investigation, and so merely viewed the hopeful Hylidae and left it to its own desires.

However, on my perilous journey back, I witnessed a crab spider capture a meal, and decided that if two subjects were presenting themselves, it warranted photographic imagery, and so I returned to the house to re-emerge with the camera in hand. After recording the crab spider for posterity, I again approached the eyrie of the amphibian, only to find it vacant; in the intervening time, the treefrog had sought another locale, leaving me directionless and bereft. I consoled myself with a few other subjects of opportunity, and returned to my office.

But as I busied myself with other pursuits, the cry returned. I drove it from my head, telling myself I had devoted enough time to wielding the camera tonight, and needed to accomplish other tasks. And yet the ballad persisted, clearly as close as it had been before, optimistic and bold. No matter, I avowed, I have enough images of such frogs, perhaps even of this very specimen, and must concentrate on other demands for my attention. And still the curious siren song played on, at times strident and demanding, at others soft and persuasive. I am right here, it told me distinctly. You know you want to photograph me.

I, however, am made of stronger mettle, and in a battle of wills with a diminutive quadruped, there is no question who will come out on top. Purging it from my attention, I bent to my pursuits, strong in the face of adversity. I am the Modern Man, bending emotion and desire to my bidding, at all times under the control of the rational brain. Let the compulsion of the id bay at the doors of my mind; within, all was calm and businesslike.

Still the serenade sounded; still the nearness of the treefrog was evident. It could not have been more than a waltz from my very office window, ringing clearly even through the closed panes. The message is not for me, I avowed, staring at the keyboard to remain focused and resolute. That story does not require my involvement. Undoubtedly many such dramas played out so close at hand, but here I had my own actions to take, my own importances to address. The simple frog was surely itself unaware of the items before me, the consequences and impacts of those far beyond its comprehension. Natural instincts towards procreation could not hold a candle to the tasks self-entrusted to me, ones only able to be controlled and manipulated by a single species on the planet. Let the trivia of courtship play on, while within these walls bigger tales unfolded.

Yet even above the clicking of the keyboard and the creaking of the chair came the reedy solo. Now taunting, it defied me, claiming with its subtle overtones that the amphibian had thwarted my attempts at producing an image, successfully avoiding me despite my vast knowledge of nature and exponentially larger brain. I just moved a short distance away, and this confused you more than it would a snake, it told me. A few moments of silence to allow your attention to wander, and I escape your intentions with a minimum of fuss. And so we see the value of rational thought pitted against base instinct and evolved coloration, the competition of…

Aw, the hell with it.

Copes grey treefrog Hyla chrysoscelis cheekily perched on tree

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