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Frog Poetry

K. Ouchley

There was a poetry slam going down at the pond this warm, winter morning. It was discernable when I first stepped out the front door of my house on the edge of the swamp. Since there are plenty of other water bodies nearby including a bayou and rising backwater, this venue seems to have been chosen expressly for the acoustics. Cajun chorus frogs, a dozen, a hundred or maybe a thousand of them had pulled out their combs and were dragging their amphibious thumbs across the teeth. The theme of the performance was obscure.

Kelby was a biologist and manager of National Wildlife Refuges for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 30 years. He has worked with alligators in gulf coast marshes and Canada geese on Hudson Bay tundra. His most recent project was working with his brother Keith of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy on the largest floodplain restoration project in the Mississippi River Basin at the Mollicy Unit of the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, reconnecting twenty-five square miles of former floodplain forest back to the Ouachita River.
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