This has been the briefest spring we've ever had. Even with last week's rain, the hills are already yellowing as they go dry. Our daffodils and tulips came and were gone within two weeks and the lilacs and forsythia are almost finished. Even natives like California poppy and bush lupine are stunted and struggling.
And from the barely one-fourth filled pond, there is absolute silence. Normally at this time of year the bullfrogs are croaking up a racket as they lay claim to their territory. Back in January and February, I heard and saw frogs in both the seasonal creek and the pond, but now there is no trace of them. They have vanished -- a sad mystery.
So I was delighted when I walked down to the edge of the pond and my eye was caught by swarms of small, fat shapes wriggling away. Hundreds of tadpoles have hatched (the January frogs must have been busy) and seem to be doing quite well.
So even when the weather's totally wacked out and it seems like more is dying than surviving, there is evidence of just how tenacious life is.
It gives one hope.