Big Night is an amphibian phenomenon. It’s fascinating, and I’m very glad I learned about it, and about how humans feel a responsibility to help. On the first rainy night in April salamanders and some frogs migrate from their winter home to their breeding pools. Often this means crossing a road, so that’s where people come in. They help move the salamanders and frogs across the road. Yes, on a rainy April night, way past dark, people go out to help on Big Night.
So I got to thinking about it. I understand that they need to stay wet, so rain is needed. I understand that they avoid sun for the long journey, so travel at night. But why do they cross the road? Why not find a vernal pool on their side of the road? I mean really. I saw the poor little guys crawling over that winter “salt sand” to even reach the road. Why? Simple. They are returning to their ancestral breeding pool, not just any vernal pool. And so that adds to why it is so wonderful that people help them. It is our responsibility since we put the road in their way. Here’s one naturalist’s explanation (and an interesting blog to follow). Mary Holland’s “Big Night” explanation
I first went out on Big Night last year. We (my sister, niece, and a friend, new to big night!) went out on a night that wasn’t so big this year. I couldn’t go out a couple nights later on what turned out to be Big Night because I’d had a Big Week. Either my targeted therapy drug or cancer cause me to have less energy and stamina. But that’s okay. It’s because of crizotinib and now lorlatinib (and so much that’s not medical) that I can think about going next year. And, the other really wonderful thing about me learning about Big Night is that I shared it with others who love it now too. On Big Night my phone chimed on the bedside and sure enough, there was a pic of my granddaughter holding a salamander. The whole family was out in the rain with friends, way past bedtime, to save lives. What a great learning adventure for the children (and their parents)!
Big Night came in a big week for me. The night before the “night I went out searching” was certainly a big night for me. I went to see the Wizard of Oz! Yup. Somewhere Over the Rainbow for me. And not just me! I got to enjoy the show with four of my grandchildren (the campers) and my son, daughter-in-law, and daughter. We all rode together and went to dinner before. Everything, even (or maybe especially) the car ride was so great. What a treat the evening was! There’s so much I could say about how much that evening meant to me in any life. Yet, I can’t even think how to describe exactly what it means to me in this second life I’m in. Just so precious and special.
To top off my big week, my sister, a friend, and I went to Bar Harbor yesterday and walked the trail in the village that goes along the ocean , stopping of course for lunch, but too filled for Pugnuts ice cream on the way home. I tried out my new sneakers from Ortho Feet. Pretty good! Roomy, well cushioned, comfortable. Not too stylish, but luckily that’s not what I was looking for. I was looking for something that would help with the neuropathy discomfort when walking.
Dan and our son have been working on traps in the field by the house, readying them for lobstering “season”. How nice it is to be here to prepare lunch for them. I’m grateful that I don’t have to struggle to try to keep working like I was last year at this time. I’ve loved my winter at home as much as I loved my fall at our camp. Today I made a sauce with tomatoes I froze (whole by the way) from our summer garden. Soon we’ll be planting again.
Enjoying the everyday every day. Me. Now.