Monday, 22 March 2010

Knitting Substitutes, Frogs and Hedgehogs

I’m being really good about this no knitting thing. I’ve knit maybe 10 rows in the last week. OK, still too much, but when you can suddenly go cold turkey for 2-4 weeks, I’ll send you a cookie. Maybe a virtual one since I’m not really supposed to lift things and baking requires lifting of bowls etc.

So, what does one do if one can’t knit in front of the telly in the evenings? For a whole week I sat trying to resist knitting and not knowing what to do with myself. I spent more time at work, went to bed early, the dog got pet a whole lot (a trend she’d much like to continue), read more paper books, actually watched telly (It’s still overrated as a single entertainment media. Most of its value lies in accompanying another hobby.), and twiddled my thumbs. Then, last night, I asked myself whatever in the world did I do before I discovered knitting? I know I spent hours shelling Walnuts, cutting up pumpkins and ironing, but two of three are seasonal and I’ve stopped ironing entirely and never missed it/noticed I’m no longer freshly pressed so why take it up again? I also used to play video games with or without friends, but no longer have a console because I just can’t justify spending $500 on a Wii.

Suddenly I realized that I used to work puzzles and that I have three in the closet which I haven’t done because I learned to knit. Sooooo, I toddled off to the next room and got the board I had intended to use as a blocking board, but my experiment failed, so it was still just a board. Grabbed a 2000 piece puzzle, dumped it on the board and started working it. I have to say it frustrates me a bit because unlike in knitting, you don’t really see progress since it’s all spread out. I also have to mention that none of you will ever see this puzzle, because although it’s a quite amusing cartoon puzzle, it’s rather naughty in places - there’s at least one naked cartoon guy streaking through the streets - so I shan’t be posting a picture of it here for fear of being branded a porn blogger. Still, it gives me something to do that won’t hurt my elbow any further and by the time I’m done, I should, hopefully, be able to go back to knitting.

Of Hedgehogs and Frogs: one of the first signs of Spring, and Autumn, here is the frog fence. I live near a lake, to/from which many, many frogs migrate every year. The frog numbers started declining as traffic picked up, so now there is a frog fence that goes up on the forest side of the street every Spring and lake side every Autumn. Volunteers then patrol the fence, picking up frogs there and carrying them across the road to safety. Only, it really only seems to catch the frogs with lower IQs. The frogs with the higher IQs, or maybe the more bloody minded of them, get through this fence and cross by themselves. Unfortunately, as mentioned, crossing the road is fraught with dangers in the form of steel belted radials and many don’t make it. What this means for the frogs is that although their population is on the increase, the average frog IQ is actually dropping because the smart ones get run over. We’re breeding generations of stupid and docile frogs who will become entirely dependent on humans for their survival. Let’s just hope future generations of school children still really, really want to go and spend an hour before school every morning picking up frogs and carrying them across the street or we shall be frogless within just a few froggy generations.

Soooo, let’s return to reality now (that was all tongue in cheek, just for the record). There are actually volunteers who go out at midnight looking for the frogs who’ve gotten through the fence so they don’t get run over (thus saving those with higher IQs or who are just stubborn and independent). However, as I learned on Saturday night, this still doesn’t save all the frogs. I was driving along the road before the volunteers came along, duly tip-toeing my Good Years through the froggy maze, when I suddenly had to slam on the brakes for a hedgehog who was looking pretty funny. His legs were stuck out at a weird angle and I was thinking he’d been run over and I would need to get out and, and the very least, get him off the road. However, before I could even put on my emergency blinkers, he scuttled off at a fairly good clip turning just enough to allow me to see that what he had been doing was snatching a frog. Those weren’t his legs, but the legs of a frog who was sticking out of his mouth. Frogs legs are back on the menu boys. Even at midnight you can learn new things. I didn’t know Hedgehogs ate frogs, but now I do. I thought they stuck to insects and snails and the occasional can of cat food when they can get it, but I was wrong. I wonder if they just eat the legs and leave the rest or if they munch down the whole frog. Oh wait, it’s nature, nothing is voluntarily wasted in nature.

So what we’ve been doing all along hasn’t actually been just saving frogs, but creating Hedgehog Buffet Month. No wonder there are more hedgehogs than there used to be. I hope some of them move in with us. We have a few rock piles that have been empty since our last hedgehog got run over which means our slug and snail population is out of control. Maybe I should advertise over at the frog fence: Free room and board for hedgehogs across the road. There’s room for you and your whole family. Yung’ens welcome.


  1. I love the frog fence! Even if it only catches stupid frogs.
    I knew Dave was "the one" the day we were driving to my grandparents and there were a whole bunch of frogs crossing the road. Dave slowed the car right down and "slalomed" around as many frogs as he could, trying not to run any over. How sweet is that?
    He still does it, and we call it "Boinger Slalom"

  2. Here's hoping that your knitless evenings will be short-lived. Loved the frog story, although hedgehogs no longer seem quite as cute to me as they once did now. Frog eating is sooooo carnivorous, ha, ha.

  3. I have never seen a hedgehog in the wild, but this is beginning to be frog season here, too. I do try to avoid them, but sometimes I hear one hop and hit the undercarriage of my car.....

  4. Funny! I've never seen a hedgehog in the wild, and I think it's illegal to keep them here in California. I'm sure one would terrify George and Gracie, who seem just barely able to deal with the occasional roaming spider. Good luck with luring a hedge to your area; natural pest control is so efficient.

  5. OMG *dies laughing*

    I had no idea hedgehogs eat frogs either. :D