Bullfrog ( Lithobates catesbeianus ) in Anacharis ( Elodea canadensis )

Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) in Anacharis (Elodea canadensis)

I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.
— Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

This morning, before I could decide which corner of my property I wished to study...I carried a pail of kitchen scraps out to the compost. There, in the pond, a froglet hung in the anacharis.

Although we have hosted dozens of frogs and (this year, toads), I never tire of watching this miracle unfold. One year we brought a tadpole inside and kept it in an aquarium so we could watch the metamorphosis first-hand.

A fat, awkward tadpole's tail is elegantly absorbed into its body as small limbs develop. Soon, muscular-looking back legs are able to propel the tadpole - frog-like - through water and onto firm surfaces and soon...he is able to scramble from the water onto terra firma.

I can only imagine the thoughts going through his little, squishy imagination as he transforms!  


Jessica Allen explores the fields and forests of Pennsylvania with her artist-husband, Michael Allen, and their son, Benjamin. She shares her observations through words and pictures of everyday magic and beauty she sees in her world.