The idiots in the alt-right seem to have conscripted the image of a frog (“Pepe”) as their symbol. First of all, it’s a cartoon frog, and not all that good looking, either. Second, as someone who identies with frogs, I would point out that frogs are not inherently racist. Green frogs, brown frogs, purple treefrogs, they don’t see color. They just see frog.
Some folks see my Twitter profile image (AVI, avatar), which is taken directly from this website’s main banner image, and wonder if I’m sending out alt-right signals. NO. I am not in any way identifying with drooling morons who seem to think that a lack of melanin is enough to make them the Superior Race.
Five years ago, I was still a smoker and had a black lab. Anyone with a dog knows that they like to go outside A LOT, but that was fine with me – I called it “smoke break.” Most evenings, our “last out” was around 9:30 at night, before we settled in to sleep.
You should know that I’m also an avid amateur photographer. On a summer evening, our back patio lights were the only game in town, and they attracted a wide variety of insects, winged or not. My rule was, if you come onto my property, you get photographed. I spent many a “last out” trying to perfect my insect close-ups. One night, Dog and I went out for a smoke break, and I almost stepped on a new visitor.
A small toad had come by, hoping to make a meal of the insects on my patio. “You come onto my property, you get photographed.” I went back inside to grab my camera with macro lens, and tried to get a good photo of Toad in the semi-darkness. Soon found out that a tripod and flash were also necessary. (Duh)
Now, I have to say that Toad was an excellent subject. She could sit for a good long time, which gave me the time I needed to fumble with my equipment. Normally, if she was out there at the 9:30 “out,” she would still be there when I went out for my last cigarette around 11:00. I took a lot of photos, trying to get a really good one. My son (also a smoker) and I got to talking one night, and we Googled up toads and identified this one as female. (No, something to do with the front legs, actually.) So I had a girl toad.
(As I type this, a deer is walking past my patio.)
Toad came by most nights, and in fact seemed to be putting on weight. As payment for our photo sessions, I would often knock down some of the bigger, juicier bugs for her – not killed them, but made them easier to catch. We became quite a team over time. She was always terrified of me, but the prospect of a full meal kept her coming around. When Fall arrived, she stopped coming by, and I haven’t seen her since.
My website’s name is derived from “treefrog,” the small, colorful frogs that have always fascinated me. I don’t have any photos of treefrogs of my own, so I use a picture of this toad. I think it’s funny.
But for those of you who question whether I’m racist, no, I just like toads.