Kestrel's Musings

Rambles and explorations from this perspective.

Frogs in the shower ~ Yosemite Inspirations

Why is it that having tree frogs in the shower make us so darn happy?  When I lived at Hetch Hetchy entrance several years ago, again waiting for White Wolf to open, there were frogs in the shower then too.  Are these Yosemite moments or just nature moments?  Is this delightful or do we just experience it as so?  I believe that those of us who experience these moments as completely awesome are blessed in some way.  I believe that my life is more satisfying and more complete because I love that frogs are in the shower.

A new kid confessed that after his surprise he removed the frog on his first shower attempt, then again during his second shower, and finally on the third one too.  That is when it hit him, “Wait a minute? What is the point? Clearly the frogs want to be in the shower.” And then he embraced it, accepting frogs in the shower has part of his Yosemite summer experience.
Is it the embracing that is powerful?  That experience of letting go of our notions of how life should be and letting in the experience of how it is?  Or is it the opening to something new, the trying on of something completely out of our experience that is powerful?  Yosemite provides endless opportunities for these personal epiphanies.  Once open to them, noticing and experiencing these moments bring us into the story of this place.  From one fleeting life to thousands of years of stories painting a picture of Yosemite today that looks, feels, sounds, tastes, smells different for each individual life that in turn participates in the entire story.
I have been observing Common Nighthawks here above the Hetch Hetchy entrance staff housing and along the road to the dam.  Usually once a summer, I have noticed them over White Wolf too.  Some fact I read somewhere got it in my head that they were special here somehow.  I have wondered about what it means that I am experiencing them here so often?  After hearing them almost each night this summer, including their booming display that indicates mating, I checked the bird list.  It indicates that they breed here, but it also indicates ‘?’ meaning available data is inconclusive.  I didn’t even notice at first that their relative abundance is marked as Very Rare, which is described as 3 or fewer occurrences per season, and they may not be present every year.  But I have seen up to four, heard them most nights, and most every time at least one is doing courtship displays.  Isn’t this data conclusive?  I spoke with Sarah Stock, the park Ornithologist, and asked how to record my data so it matters.   She was intrigued.
In highlighting a moment that means something to me, and may mean something to someone else down the road, I am being the eyes and ears of the park ornithologist when she can’t be here.  More importantly, I am a voice for the Common Nighthawk.  They are here and they are acting as if they might be breeding.  Yosemite has shared another moment and I am blessed enough to have recognized it.
I hope I am blessed enough to have many more experiences that open me up to Yosemite and all she offers.  And I hope I can continue to provide opportunities for the visitors that I host, like the frogs in the Hetch Hetchy staff showers provide for us.
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Author: Kestrel

Kestrel identifies as a naturalist, Yosemite Interpreter, guide, outdoor educator, science teacher, friend, music lover, auntie extraordinaire, adventurer for birds, and fellow sojourner on this big blue marble. Out there she strives to live life most generously and satisfyingly. Here she endeavors to share what rolls around the heart and grey matter...

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