During the depths of winter if you live near a body of water you may come across the frozen body of a Common Wood Frog, they are small little things and when it gets cold enough, they freeze; their heart stops, their blood crystallises and they even stop breathing. Interestingly though, they are not dead. This is how they hibernate. Although I should say that hibernating sounds more like an active choice, but I suspect that in this case if there was a particularly warm winter they wouldn’t be jumping in your freezer.
So they’re not dead.
Also because of their small size, when the temperature increases it takes less than 1 hour* for the Common Wood Frog to defrost and hop along as if nothing happened. And rather annoyingly that is approximately 7 hours quicker than I was able to kick myself into action today. After my nightly sleep (which does not include freezing my blood, my heart or stopping my breathing) I woke to a groggy state and just couldn’t get going.
It was difficult to do the daily tasks and attend a social gathering whilst feeling so out of it. Plus the added emotional baggage of being belittled and bettered by a defrosting Common Wood Frog was also difficult to handle.
To comfort myself to this fact, I rationalised with myself that the societal strains applied to the life of a Common Wood Frog are significantly less than a human. Also as we are getting into specifics here, I should point out that while the Common Wood Frog is frozen still, I am out working. So come the summer months, I think a period of aestivation* is something not to be ashamed of.
Who is the Common Wood Frog anyway? If you ask me, it takes a certain kind of character to revel in the struggles of others. I gave it my best today, I saw another family for the last time and I sat in school waiting for pupils who never turned up. The Common Wood Frog only has to catch a slug, which of all the tasks of all the predators in the wild, is not particularly difficult.
I can if I want to, wake up quickly. It is just that today was an off day. I haven’t done the research but I suspect that at least 1 in 10 Common Wood Frogs defrost into a groggy state of ‘Jesus, get me a coffee, I am struggling, what on earth was that all about?’ but we just don’t hear about it because it is an Anura amphibian with no possible form of communication.
So all in all, the groggy, cloudy disposition continued all day and only really left this evening, meaning I am much more awake now, conveniently in time for me to go to bed…
*Fan assisted ovens; 45 minutes.
*Aestivation is what hedgehogs do in the summer if it gets too hot. It is basically the summer form of hibernation and it makes the hedgehog act curiously and it can’t perform basic tasks – which is why this is a particularly good reference.
P.S It isn’t actually called a ‘Common’ Wood Frog, I just added that in for comic effect. I should also say any anger pointed at the non-common Wood Frog was done so in jest.