Letting Go


Teeny peeper sitting in the middle of a piece of lichen about the size of a quarter


Every year I bring back wood frogs, peepers or toads to this property to increase my amphibian population… this year with a drought underway the peepers captured my heart because a bizarre heat wave hit Maine just after the coldest freeze I ever remember. The poor peepers froze and then steamed and fried under a relentless solstice sun, their vernal pools rapidly disappearing from under them.


Intervening, I scooped up about a thousand and took them to the pond, brought some here to the shaded vernal pool that I dug here many years ago. Amphibians are the most endangered species on earth and I liked the idea of providing a temporary home for some.


This year I decided to raise seven peepers in a fish bowl something I had not done for a number of years. The ones in the vernal pool had kingfishers, herons, and a raccoon to deal with on top of drought – with these odds who knows how many would survive to become adults. The prognosis seemed grim.


On a whim when I added five toadpoles to my bowl of seven tadpoles I wondered if they would be eaten, but happily I was mistaken. So now I had twelve rotund bodies with wiggling tails, blobs with discernable eyes that watched me through the glass any time I sat with them. It was impossible not to reach the conclusion that these tadpoles were as interested in me as I was in them. One of the peepers disappeared within two days, and I knew from prior experience that he had died, becoming a source of protein for the others. Nature knows a lot about recycling.


Because I have no aquarium I have to scoop out the water and refill it with microbe rich bacteria pond water twice a week, a labor-intensive job that I have been doing for more than a month as of this writing. I feed my tadpoles bits of homegrown torn lettuce that they demolish with incredible speed and gusto. I have been anxiously awaiting back legs to develop because when this happens I know that their final ordeal is almost upon them. Transformation is never easy. (When I hear folks casually discussing transformation as if it was some sort of fun process I cringe. Transformations of any kind are fraught with danger and difficulty).


None of the toadpoles have legs but about 10 ten days ago I noted the first of the peepers were sprouting some. One little fellow turned almost transparent as his body shrunk, his head increased in size as frog eyes appeared as protuberances, his mouth grew wider. When tiny nubs emerged and developed almost instantly into front legs and his tail began to shrink this little character made a mysterious exit one night.


Since there are no predators on the porch where I keep the fish bowl I had deliberately provided him with an escape by leaving a long piece of wood leaning against the inside of the bowl that stuck out a few inches just in case a transformation occurred during the night. The purpose of the wood was to give the little emerging frog a stable place from which to hunt his first bug. Although I searched the porch I could not find him. Perhaps he slipped through a crack in the door to freedom. I hoped so. After this experience I was determined not to miss the next show!


When the second little tadpole began to change I transferred him to another bowl without as much water, one with a floating piece of wood in its center. This time I was rewarded. I watched carefully as his tail shrunk trying to judge when he would re absorb it because this would be his final food source until he caught his first insect. I watched him alternately coming to the surface to breathe air and then sinking back down to the bottom of the bowl to gulp water. He seemed to be struggling a bit and I was worried. By evening his tail had diminished. When I looked in the bowl he was sitting on the floating wood gazing at me expectantly as if he knew I was his route to freedom. It was time.


I prepared a protected place in my flower garden, putting a shallow dish of water with a few stones under the greenery, and added another wooden island – just in case he might still need to rest. When I picked him up and opened the door he squirmed a little. As soon as I bent down in the greenery, placing him in the dish he leapt out and disappeared into a mass of green foliage! His journey had begun. I was shocked to feel so bereft. Even though I had raised him from childhood I was, after all, celebrating his new life…How is it that I had forgotten that raising tadpoles always carried a cost?


I suspect the process reminded me of losing my own children to unseen forces; but perhaps it wasn’t only that. It may be that nurturing (and usually I raise tadpoles from eggs) puts me in touch with the inevitable pain that is always associated with love. I reminded myself that I needed to learn this life lesson over and over. And that Letting Go is an art form.




As of this afternoon I have three froglets living in my flower garden. When I took the second one outdoors he leapt so high into the foliage that I was stunned. Remember these tiny peepers are only about a quarter inch long.


The third one was waiting for me on the floating wood, eyeing me with particular intensity this morning. I spoke to him, commenting on the fact that his tail was still quite long, but he seemed to be telling me that this was fine. It was time to go. I complied, and although he did spend a few moments floating in the dish, he also vanished into the giant green jungle…

Midsummer Meditation






It is past “midsummer” and we are moving into the hottest time of the year without a drop of nurturing, healing rain… When I walk around I find myself focusing on the many different ferns that grace the forest edges – ferns that hold in precious moisture creating damp places for toads and frogs to hide, places for young trees to sprout, places for the grouse and turkey to hide their nestlings, ferns whose lacy fronds bow low as if in in prayer. Sweet fern covers the hill above and around the brook. The Ostrich ferns are giant bouquets that sprout up around Trillium rock shielding tender wildflower roots. Maidenhair is being devoured by insects, sadly, the only fern having difficulty here. New York ferns are stiff with ladder like fronds and the few cultivars provide soft shades of dark red, blue and green. Along my woodland paths the tall pale green bracken stalks have to be pulled although I leave all that I can around the edges to protect the mosses. All the ferns are forever unfurling in a state of becoming, spiral gifts for any discerning eye.


Ferns are just one of nature’s ways of dealing with drought. Without this lacy lime, fading emerald, gray green covering the soil would crack because it is already so parched; I imagine I can feel the stress of thirsty plant roots. Small leaves are yellowing and falling from fruit trees even in June.


I find myself wondering what mycelium highways are being created beneath the surface of the soil. The hyphal root tips are seeking water to feed what plants? Nearby trees? New seedlings? We know from Scientist Monica Gagliano’s work that these mycorrhizal fungi hear the brook’s barely rippling water and are making their way to its source… but I can only imagine this… I cannot see it. I do however, trust nature’s ability to adapt, and this knowledge brings me the greatest comfort of all. Nature can be trusted; S/he has seemingly endless ways of managing even during the destructive age of the Anthropocene.


When I meander around the house under the thick shade of the many trees I planted so many years ago, feel the soft moss beneath my feet, and smell the scent of moist air and water preserved in part because of my effort to work with nature, I cannot help but give thanks for living in this hollow, a well forested glen, where I find reprieve from lack of rain.

Electric Green Damselflies!



Today it was 90 degrees and I spent most of the afternoon with a friend wading in my brook – a body of clear mountain water that flows under a graceful canopy of trees, trees that sheltered us from the brutal Summer Solstice sun and kept the surrounding air moist and cool as well as almost unbearably fragrant. Oh, I am never more appreciative of the forest than on a day like this one. We haven’t had a soaking rain for almost two months and although the humidity provides a little moisture for thirsty trees the forest floor is drying up, the mosses are losing color, lichens are crispy. Fire is an ominous threat, and piles of slash have become a real danger… We were discussing these worries when suddenly three amazing apparitions interrupted our conversation.

Catapulted into the present we both watched in wonder as electric green damselflies darted back and forth below the waterfall, barely lighting on the lacy ferns for seconds before darting away. Emerald sticks shimmered and shivered as they soared after prey.

No other insects symbolize summer quite like this group of colorful, primitive-looking predatory insects. Often we confuse the two species calling both dragonflies. In the late summer garden, both damsel and dragonflies resemble tiny animal fighter jets, fierce-looking with bulbous eyes and gossamer wings.

Just the day before I was kayaking on the pond and had a number of the latter landing on my bow with their outstretched wings. I also noted strings of dragonfly – damselfly (?) eggs attached to reeds floating under water.

Damselfies and dragonflies are closely related. These members of the insect order Odonata include roughly 5,900 species – about 2,600 damselflies and 3000 dragonflies.

Damselflies and dragonflies are both predatory flying insects that look primitive and ancient because they are. Fossil records indicate that prehistoric species are quite similar to those we see today. Modern dragonflies and damselflies are most prevalent in tropical regions, but some species can be found in almost every part of the world except for the polar regions.

In all fairness it is easy to see why dragonflies and damselflies are often confused with one another because they share many characteristics, including membranous wings, large eyes, slender bodies and small antenna. But there are also clear differences. Damselflies have longer thinner bodies that look like needles. In general, dragonflies are sturdier, thicker-bodied insects Once you the difference in body shape most folks can easily identify the two. What is easiest for me to remember is that damselflies look like flying needles while dragonflies resemble small aircraft especially when they land. Damselfly wings are held vertically while dragonfly wings are flat while the insects are at rest.

Both species come in a wide range of sizes and colors. Some are subdued, others dazzle the eye with their brightly metallic hues of greens and blues. Damselflies have the widest range of sizes, with wingspans ranging from about 3/4 inch (19 mm) in some species to 7 1/2 inches (19 cm) in larger species. Some fossil ancestors have wingspans of more than 28 inches! One of the first winged insects, dragonflies have inhabited the Earth for more than 300 million years.

Both damselflies and dragonflies lay their eggs in or near water. Hatched larvae go through a series of molts as they grow, and begin predatory feeding on the larvae of other insects and small aquatic animals like tadpoles. One year someone gave me some dragonfly eggs and forgot to tell me they would eat my tadpoles. Naturally, I was deeply upset when I discovered the trick and was quick to remove the offenders. The Odonata larvae themselves also serve as an important food source for fish, amphibians, and birds. Larval damselflies and dragonflies reach adulthood in as little as three weeks or as long as eight years, depending on species. They go through no pupal stage, but near the end of the larval stage, the insects begin to develop wings, which emerge as useable flight organs after the last molt of the larval stage.

The adult flying stage, which can last as long as nine months, is marked by predatory feeding on other insects, mating, and finally laying eggs in water or moist, boggy areas. As adults dragonflies and damselflies are largely immune to predators, except for some birds. These insects are our friends! They consume large quantities of mosquitoes, gnats, and other biting creatures. Damselflies and dragonflies are visitors we need to entice into our gardens!

In some folklore green dragonflies are supposed symbolize abundance and the greening of the earth. To see these magical flying beings on the afternoon of the summer solstice seemed prescient. I couldn’t help wondering if their timely appearance might suggest that this turning of the wheel might bring us some relief from the difficulties that we are facing on a personal and collective level.



The picture that I have included shows a Sparkling Jewelwing damselfly. Only the tip of the wings is dark, making it easy to differentiate from the more common Ebony Jewelwing. Many areas of the east coast are blessed with these magnificent insects.

Solstice Lamentation

George Floyd…

I awaken to the muted songs of birds… the spring cacophony is spent… the brook barely ripples below the house, although the summer green still calms me, a balm for eyes that ache in the waxing, too brilliant, solstice sun – too many hours of light leave me agitated, scattered, pushing me towards mindless doing. Professional writing becomes a chore. I am too tired to read at night because of so much daily physical activity. Beneath the surface, tension works against the part of me that simply wants to be… I long for longer nights to redress this cyclic extreme – an imbalance that also leaves me enervated. Agitation and enervation both. Too much light casts no shadows.

Tomorrow the solstice heat will begin to climb – my summer torment has begun. And with the heat comes the noise of crazed motorcycles and guns. Aggressive people love the Fire, take pleasure out of crushing breath out of the innocent resulting in yet one more death of a black man.* Numbed by this latest atrocity, one that is literally beyond my comprehension, I am at the mercy of flames that I despise, and heat that steals my breath away too. I want to go with the turning facing this fierce inferno but cannot let go of my yearning for stillness, sanity, water, and peace…

The rains have not come. The soil is pitifully dry – vernal pools shrink to a dangerous low; almost two months have passed since we have had a soaking rain. It surprises me that so few notice. Kingfisher hunts hapless tadpoles in a disappearing pond. It seems to me that life’s predators hold sway. I witness drooping leaves and plants, water my garden every day, and try to live with the crushing depression that haunts me. My short term memory is deserting me – I leave glasses in one room and can’t remember where, food gets left on counters, precious pictures are stupidly and mindlessly deleted, where’s my bug net? I can’t stay in my body. Too much pain.

This year I am desperately trying to find someone to replace rotten timbers in my cellar and to interrupt what has become a serious health threatening moisture problem. A local contractor backed out last spring, leaving me searching desperately for anyone to do the work I need done… I would have had all winter to find someone else had he told me he was not willing to do the job. This betrayal requires taking some concrete action that I have yet to take… Three months have gone by and still nothing. I am now wondering how I can get by without replacing the timbers… I am constantly on edge – frightened about what will happen to my cabin, and what this means for me – all this frantic movement going on around me, and I am standing still.

I am weary from repeating an old pattern – why is it that I have so much trouble getting help? Hopelessness rises out of the depths. He has pearl white fangs and too many teeth…

*George Floyd’s horrific dying, while he struggled for breath is a crime so horrific that it has taken a week for me to absorb it. It reflects the gruesome reality of human cruelty. I never saw the video – just one revolting look at the picture struck me dumb.

What upsets me the most is that no one seems to notice the underlying pattern that accompanies these atrocities. First the murder, then outrage and protesting, and finally a return to the status quo. Oh yes, and every time millions to speak to the “hope” that accompanies the protesting – “This time it will be different”. We are a nation addicted to hope.

By the way, what’s the difference between hanging black man from a tree and crushing the breath out of another? Racism is a brutal FACT of human life then and now.


If only my bear would come…


If only my bear would come…

The Song of the Forest



When He comes

I forget who I am.

My story vanishes.

Boundaries dissolve.

Emerald green,

leaf filtered light,

clear mountain streams,

trees, lichens, moss –

become ‘all there is’.

In the still dawning

Animals speak.


Nature’s ultimate gift is that given the chance S/he dissolves the artificial socially constructed  boundaries that humans have erected to separate themselves from the Earth who is burning in the Fire, unable to breathe as many of us are struggling to do now.

We have a choice to re-establish interconnection – to become part of the  original family that birthed us 500 million years ago… regardless of outcome.

Developing an intimate connection with Nature allows us to disappear into the whole. Ironically, dissolution is where peace is found.

Spirit Bear

June bear


When the bears come the waters will rise / sweet rain will fill the barrels / and cardinals will whistle love songs. When the bears come my feet will touch the earth / and I will feel the branches of root light illuminating the dark / revealing a direction that has been blocked by disbelief. When the bears come joy will climb up my spine / and fireflies will gather in my hair/ my mind will clear/ pinpoints of flashing light will lead the way/ the mist that blankets the mountain will part / dew will fall under a waning moon / and I will hug a furry body until I sleep / burying my head in his chest / feeling his heartbeat as my own / whole / if only the bears will come…

The Ark?!!

In one dream I held a clear bubble in my hand. I quickly opened the sphere to allow the contents to breathe and when I did I saw the most amazing scene. There were thousands of animals, birds and trees of all kinds scattered over magnificent emerald green ground. I was stunned, riveted, and it took me a few moments to take in what I saw. This was a whole new earth waiting to be born! Then I saw an ark. An ark? But this ark had no people, just animals birds butterflies worms – all manner of living creatures streaming out of its center. Mesmerized, I peered into the sphere. This earth was free of humans and their destructive manipulation. I awakened weeping with joy.

In a 2nd dream I was walking through the Bosque in the pre-dawn hours when I had a vision ( Bosque is a wetland area).

My beloved dying cottonwoods had disappeared but in their place were giant pinecones that had become trees that were securely rooted in the ground. They were already 5 feet tall and growing very fast! These weren’t ordinary pinecones; they were crane –cones, cones like those that I had picked up at the Bosque del Apache (Cranes are spirit birds for me). “The trees will live on; they will just change forms” a dis-embodied voice told me.

I awakened feeling a profound sense of relief because I love all trees and had witnessed such heartrending tree destruction by logging and burning, and in Abiquiu, I lived with thirst driven trees that were succumbing to desertification.

For a month I stayed in what can only be described as an altered state of consciousness – ecstasy. My whole world had shifted. I began to write about trees and couldn’t stop. The primary emphasis was no longer on advocating for the life of trees but rather to invite people in to examine trees as remarkable living beings four million years strong! I wrote and wrote and wrote with joy in my heart.


Postscript: As a child I loved the story of the ark imagining all the animals and worrying that some I knew were not in the illustrations I saw. Although I have Christian roots I gave up Christianity many years ago. I find the divine in Nature – every single day. For that reason dreaming about an ark surprised and delighted me!

The bear is no longer missing!



Hairy Vetch



I just picked the first violet blue flowers of the hairy vetch that was creeping along the road, its ladder like leaves following curling spirals. I noticed that a few plants had already found purchase on lupine spires; in my garden the delicate leaves and tendrils of the vine are just beginning their spiral ascent into deep green.


Here in Maine the plant begins to bloom in June and I make sure that I have some sprigs in my flower garden each year because long after deep blue is just a memory by mid-summer, hairy vetch provides my garden with blue and my fiery late summer bouquets with a delightfully deep contrast. The plant looks especially beautiful twining among a riot of colorful day lilies. I also love to watch its growth habits, the way its intriguing tendrils meander over the tops of other flowering plants seeking the heat of the sun.


Last year in New Mexico I planted Hairy vetch in the spring because the plant is a nitrogen fixer and the desert soils of Abiquiu are low in nitrogen. What follows is an excerpt from my journal:


“Here it is almost mid October and my Hairy vetch blooms on with its glorious violet blue color. Bees, and cabbage butterflies are still seeking its sweet nectar. So far, these plants defy the frost. Mine is sprawling on top of all the other wild weeds providing a crown of deep blue around my little pond.” This climbing vine is not for everyone; its wild roaming habits make it unwieldy and those folks that need a tidy garden will not be drawn to this plant.”


It is true that gardeners need to beware of the vetches tendency to climb over every plant in sight! However, if the gardener is anxious for pollinators, planting a crop of vetch will become a source of great pleasure. Keeping vetch nearby draws down hummingbirds, bees, moths, and every other insect I can think of. In both Maine and NM and everywhere else where the plant grows wild the seed pods appear in the fall and the legume re –seeds itself with ease.


This year in Abiquiu I didn’t put any vetch in and when I left in April almost every place I seeded last spring had tender green vetch tendrils appearing. It’s important to note that this legume is not parasitic although in some areas like New Mexico it can look as if it’s smothering other plants.


Although it tangles itself into knots as it grows I am happy to say that vetch is the easiest plant to remove. Here in my perennial flower garden I can pull it out anytime during the season that it becomes annoying. Best of all, the dried remains can become part of winter’s cover, re seed an area in fall or spring, or end up in a compost heap. Last fall my two little pear trees had vetch wrapped around them and early in April I was delighted to see tiny green tendrils peaking out from beneath the cottonwood bark that I also use as mulch for my trees.


Introduced from Europe as a rotation crop (it is now considered native to parts of this country), Hairy or woolly vetch has since become an established weed in many areas, especially along roadsides, waste areas, and in croplands. Many, of course consider it an “invasive” which I translate as a plant that has found a way to adapt in these times of Climate Change. A plant to be celebrated not demonized!

The cover grows slowly in fall, but root development continues over winter. Growth quickens in spring, when Hairy vetch becomes a sprawling vine that can exceed 12 – 15 feet! Field height rarely exceeds 3 feet unless the vetch is supported by another crop like my giant five foot Abiquiu weeds. Its abundant biomass can be both a benefit and a challenge. The stand smothers spring weeds, another reason I love it, and it can help replace all or most nitrogen fertilizer needs, but because it breaks down quickly, the plant will not provide lasting mulch.

Additionally, the plant’s roots anchor the soil, reducing runoff and preventing soil erosion. When the plant is plowed into the ground in spring, it improves soil structure, promotes drainage and increases the soil’s ability to retain nutrients and moisture. For this reason, Hairy vetch and other cover crops are often known as “green manure.”


Curiously, vetch was once a commonly cultivated plant that fell out of favor over time… Most of the plant is edible and some species actually taste quite good in salads when they are small. The young shoots can also be cooked.

Few legumes (pea family) can match Hairy vetch for versatility. Widely adapted and winter hardy it requires virtually no care to thrive. However, in Abiquiu, I have found that it requires supplementary watering, a practice I have never engaged in before becoming a desert lizard!

June Moon: The Berry Moon



I watered the soil thoroughly because it was so dry. I intended to plant my seeds and May has been a month of bizarre weather extremes. The last waxing moon frost occurred this week with temperatures in the mid 20’s. Finally, it was time…


When I awakened during the night a light drizzle sweetened the air as a solitary gray tree frog trilled from the brook. At dawn I was disappointed that rain had barely wet the leaves and yet the sky was soft with dark gray clouds, and it was delightfully cool, a perfect day for planting.


I felt excitement rising as I gathered my chosen seeds and began raking smooth the damp sweet earth, marveling of the fact that each seed contains the miracle of its own becoming. I was imagining the riot of color that would be visible by early August as I poked each seed into its home, tamped it down, and afterwards, watered again. Nasturtiums and Scarlet Runner beans would provide the back-drop for the perennial flowers in the lower garden all of which had escaped the frost. I was well pleased. Because of the light drizzle the seeds would not dry out today, I thought, with some satisfaction.


Finishing with the rock garden I moved up the hill to my herb patch. I planted four basil plants, the dill seedlings were nestled next to the lettuce, with parsley in between; happily the lemon thyme was recovering from its winter ordeal. Finally I seeded more basil directly into the soil and poked more trailing nasturtiums around the lettuce because the latter would be gone before the nasturtiums were big enough to shade the plants.


This simple little herb patch gave me as much pleasure as having a big vegetable garden once did. It was the relational act of co creating with the earth that mattered.


Afterwards I walked to the pond in the still gray air. I love humidity when it’s cool because the moist air holds the scents of so many trees plants, bushes and flowers. The combined effect is intoxicating. Especially now with the lilacs.


When the rain began I was back in the house. Instantly my eyes witnessed electric green emanating from the trees – all plants were breathing, saturating themselves with moisture. The evergreens stretched their fingers out, and the deciduous trees turned their leaves upward opening them to the sky. The grosbeaks, red wings, and cardinals sang love songs. Everyone loves the Cloud People.


Seeding in officially marks the end of heavy garden work for me. For two months I have been digging and moving plants from the big cottage garden into a smaller one that I can see from our screened and glassed in porch, our summer living room.


Reflecting over the past few years I remembered becoming disenchanted with gardening – the work was becoming too hard – so much so that I thought I was ready to let go. I was wrong. When the grass began to crowd out the delicate spring flowers and other old fashioned perennials so dear to me I realized I was missing my old friends.


At that point I left for the NM desert where I tried to garden in a hostile environment on land that did not belong to me. After attempting to create an oasis in impossible heat and wind I was forced to give up gardening for a second time, this time out of necessity. In that process I had developed a new perspective on gardening in Maine. It might be hard work but the rewards were worth it. I was ready to try again.


When I returned home this spring I knew that necessary construction would ruin what was left of the old fashioned overgrown cottage garden. Trusting that this work will happen ‘sometime’ motivated me to move plant after plant – choosing carefully what to keep and what to let go. The result is that I have created a lovely cottage garden that contains my most beloved perennial flowers. Hopefully I can care for these, at least for a few more years. It’s been quite a process, and I have learned the hard way that gardening is as necessary to me as breathing.


June’s full moon is upon us. Because so many wildflowers are sprouting fruiting bodies besides strawberries I have re named this solstice moon the Berry Moon… There is an old purple Berry Woman that lives in this forested wood inside an Elderberry bush I recently planted who can be coaxed out of hiding if the need is great. I hope she will help me break out of the paralyzed state I find myself in. I need help believing that I can find the builder, the help I need…


Once, a few years ago she left me a seed…

Trusting what we have been given?

It is hard to

witness the drought

steal lime green

shrink maple leaves

distort wildflower buds.

When I stand under

the apple tree

white snow petals


around me,

I long to stop time

until the rains come.

Vernal pools

are disappearing.

This scalding gift

kills wiggling tadpoles

by the millions –

froglets not to be –

Frantically, I scoop

a thousand or more,

race to the pond,

make an offering

of reprieve –

Time to Breathe.


I reflect.

Murder by a scorching sun

is part of the story

but not the Whole.

This frog holocaust

is also Nature’s way.

S/he births life,

allows death

to have its way.


Working notes: This piece was written in response to a prompt given by a friend/facilitator before we met collectively on zoom (hideous name) – writers who need to keep on questioning and learning… that day I had witnessed thousands of tadpoles struggling to survive as their vernal (temporary) pools disappeared in the terrifying 100 plus degree heat wave in a month when all life is just beginning – May – Unable to stand by when I knew that frogs are the most endangered species on earth, I scooped up about a thousand and released them in a nearby lake, in my vernal pool, and kept a few to watch in a fish bowl knowing that bringing these last few to adulthood will probably give them a chance to survive. Frogs don’t need a heat wave to kill them. As it is only four percent make it to adulthood under the best circumstances. In that one pool  alone thousands more perished under a relentless solstice sun.

Not surprisingly, I didn’t get much feedback from my “non – poem” someone called it -unfortunately even sensitive writers aren’t tuned in to the ways of Nature…at least not like I am. In the scheme of things frogs don’t matter – and yet here we are in the midst of a virus crisis that kills impersonally… I see an intimate relationship between the frogs and people who are dying…