This a picture of about a third of the crowd at the Fifth Annual Froggy Family Birthday Party on July 30, 2023 at A Frog House. Photo Credit Matthew Fass.
Can you imagine, when I asked everyone who had a birthday to stand up, not one person did? Even after repeatedly asking the almost 100 guests.
But no matter, we all enjoyed ourselves!
People in the photo above are listening to one of our excellent speakers. Ari Freedman-Weiss spoke about his vision and goals for the 75 acres of property he owns at the former site of Camp Sisol. Ari calls his project FERN, for Fitness, Enrichment, Recreation, Nature. Rob Corby spoke about the geological, biological and indigenous significance of the former camp grounds.
Victoria Zelin-Cloud and Jonathan Cloud summarized their vision for a Bioregional Learning Center on the site in collaboration with Ari.
Patty led us in a “pair share” where we paired up and each had two minutes to tell the other person what we were excited about after hearing the presentations, including what we would like to do to help Ari with his vision.
Natch, I (left) am interested in helping with a project regarding frog conservation, and Cathleen is interested in helping children in the city have outdoors experience. Remember, the oak grows from the tiniest acorn.
But, I am ahead of myself! Let’s start at the beginning. As Lindsay Fass Graham visually noted in her inimitable style from her upstairs window, it was a perfectly perfect day.
We get better organized every year, and for this Fifth Annual Family Froggy Birthday Party we had a perfect team of interns/volunteers to get and keep us that way.
Shubham and Thompson, fast friends, are old hands at the registration table, and were easily distracted when none other than Donna Payne and Professor Rem were signing in.
What a surprise to have Professor Rem show up! We have done many gigs together in classrooms, and he obliged us with a few jokes at the microphone. eg Q. What happens to a rainbow when it commits a crime? A. It goes to prism.
Some people arrived via the Tow Path, as did this family who not only hosted our Save the Frogs Day event on May 7 on their beautiful 7.8 acres, boasting wetlands and forests, but have said they would love to do it again next year. Watch for details!
Felix seemingly can’t wait for green ice cream and cake.
Matthew Fass, spent the afternoon before the party spiffing up A Frog House, clean enough for the Queen Frog to move into it and to receive our honored guests.
I count on him every year to lend music, humor and love to our proceedings.
“Max” also helps me all year long to get out my blog and the newsletters, as well as with the website and other technical problems, which he generates for me just so he can fix them.
Hmmmmm. “Is dis a system?”
Sadly, this year his partner Sarah Bissonette Adler was too committed in her new job to join us.
Lindsay (aka Weezie, Linz, Pip) will tell you herself how amazing she is in every respect, and we all agree. In spite of how hard she worked, as an incredible social organizer and media manager, fundraiser photographer, and lovely hostess, you can see what a happy warm presence she is.
She thought no one took any photos of her, but she was too busy taking her own images to notice.
Some people couldn’t wait for the cake (which was carried out by our official annual cake carrier Rob Corby at 2:30 or so), so Sarah and Sandra obliged by dishing it out early.
Although she couldn’t attend, team event manager and musician Bonnie Abrams arranged to have this beautiful cake made, decorated, and donated by Wegman’s in time for our party.
Things got a bit hectic when the cake did come out, so I quickly recruited our new friend Kyle Froggatt to help. We had run out of volunteer Froggy Hats, but next best was a Frog bandana, which he needed to protect his sunburnt neck.
It just happened that when I came along to enjoy some cake, it was gone from the right all the way to my back. So I ate [the image of] my head.
As the joke I told goes, I love three things: “Eating my parents and avoiding commas.”
After I ate my parents I shared another another piece of cake Jackie and Bonnie. Matthew said I look like a frog in this photo.
While the afternoon had some adult discussion, there was plenty of opportunity for youngsters to enjoy themselves. We had a scavenger hunt with questions about native plants and frogs at our frog pond game with froggy tic tac toe, frog origami, frog [corn hole] toss, fishing for trash, and finding camouflaged amphibians.
This young person tried on the frog mask….
…but alas, it was claimed, bought and paid for by Dan.
Annika always takes the prize, and the stage, where she and I were dancing to the lively accordion and bass music played by Matthew and our long term friend and neighbor Adam Wilcox.
You can almost see that she still hasn’t grown into the A Frog House Save The Frogs Day shirt that she insisted on getting two or three years ago.
I hope it lasts until she does, because her mom and dad, both scout leaders, say she wants to wear it all the time. Her older brother Noah is brilliant, quiet and protective.
Some people, including our Eddie, just enjoyed the view, and …
…and oh, what a view!
Our dear friend and professional photographer Stephen Ransom seemed to have a great old time exercising his artistic bent, as illustrated by this gorgeous close up of the daylily (no, it is not native) with the beautifully out of focus background.
Lindsay has her own artistic talents, and again, though not native, the Rose of Sharon bush always explodes with blossoms for annual celebration.
At our donation table, the sheep went to our former board member, Nannette Nocon, and her mom, Ligaya Nocon, for their grandchild/great grandchild.
Here is what I wrote three years ago, with the help of our precious Katherine Denison, advisor, designer, editor, and friend. The sentiment still holds.
Finally: Never have I felt happier or more loved on a birthday. Maybe I could turn eighty[three] again soon, just for the joy of it. Family and friends and newcomers right off the canal path, and regular and new supporters were full of care for A Frog House endeavors, and full of love for what we believe in. Our premises were green and beautiful, our flowers abloom and the weather sublime.
What gratitude I feel for our beloved community of supporters. Inventiveness, dedication to our trembling environment, generosity, hilarity, good will and good food. A Frog House sends love, so much love, and hope to those who need it. May you all stay safe and healthy.
Your Input Requested
A Frog House is a center for local Advocacy, worldwide Collaboration, and ecological Education. We work on behalf of amphibians and the citizens of upstate New York, advocating for chemical free properties, clean water, and healthy wetlands. Our projects include planting trees, restoring vital habitats, and building frog ponds.
Events such as our annual Save The Frogs Day and Froggy Family Birthday Party are time consuming and expensive. It is hard for me to evaluate what kind of impact and value they have. I would love to hear from you, whether you donated or not, about why you love or don’t so much love coming to A Frog House.
Watch for our next blog about our upcoming special projects.
Our daughter Lindsay is asking you to cheer us on by donating to her annual fundraiser for my actual 83rd birthday, on August 9. Because no one else seems to have birthdays, we might as well make the most of mine, don’t you think?