I found this little fella, hopping rather pitifully along the dusty, cracked ground in our garden. I felt so sorry for him, stoic in his progress, but looking so scrawny and parched. He obligingly let me take his picture, before giving him a refreshing shower from our watering can and letting him go on his way, in search of a more reliable water source.
This dry season is proving a tough one for amphibians in Brunei so far. It has been particularly hot, even by tropical standards, and there has been barely any rain for weeks now. Add to that the general unpleasantness and permanently acrid, smoky air created by the nearby forest fires which have been burning uncontrollably for the last few weeks, and it is not just the frogs desperately hoping for some much needed rain soon.
In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon writes, ‘On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard . It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.’
That quote so perfectly describes the experience of rain in the tropics. In full swing it can go on for hours, and it is loud beyond belief. Then, after a few brief moments of silence, the white noise of the rain is followed by the almost joyful boom and croak of hundreds of frogs and toads enjoying the blissful relief brought by the deluge.
Although Sunday will be well past the fifth day, we can but hope for a little bit of that rain. I’m missing the sound of the celebratory boom and croak of the frogs after the rain; although not half as much as they are, I am sure.