By guest writer Jen of SewnNatural

On a recent trip to our favorite forest spot near Ottawa, we spotted a family of frogs on the edge of a creek. I actually ended up falling in the creek trying to take some photos (some of which you see below, but that’s an entirely separate story. Also, well worth it).

Seeing both sets of photos uploaded on my computer (the frog shot and the dancing-in-the-light-of-the-leaves photos)… it struck me. I looked at this little, sweet girl and those small, water-bound frogs, and I saw a vulnerability that I did not want to see. I wanted to wish away.

Mass extinctions of bees… at least one third of the world’s amphibious species on the verge of extinction… these are canary in the mine happenings that we need to pay very, very close attention to. The human actions that are causing disease and death among our most fragile animal species (arguably this can be extended to include our children) are stoppable. Preventable. Frogs and other amphibious species have survived massive changes in 250 million years. But in the last century, or even half century, we have driven thousands upon thousands of species to the edge of extinction.

All of us, and even that special little girl who owns my heart, are not at arm’s length from any of those changes, and the animals that are sick and dying. We are at one with them, and the nature around us.

Frogs live with everything that gets dumped into their waters, from acid rain to agricultural pesticides to lead fishing pieces, to hexavalent chromium and inorganic arsenic from masses of leaching pressure treated wood. Frogs are skin to skin with these pollutants. Their dwindling numbers and threatened species tell us in no uncertain terms that all is not well with our (precious) wetlands.

My heart aches.

And yet my daughter dances as the sun streams down to the forest floor through the leaves of the giant trees. She is hope. She is promise.

There are wonderful resources out there for parents and teachers wanting to incorporate amphibian education into their teaching, and for individuals looking to get more involved in learning about and protecting frogs. SAVE THE FROGS (LINK: http://www.savethefrogs.com/who-we-are/index.html) is a burgeoning new non profit who is looking forward to planning their 3rd annual worldwide Save the Frogs Day in April 2011.

This article was written by EcoEtsy member Jen of SewnNatural studio and appeared on her blog on August 6th.  She graciously offered to share  it with us for the team blog.

Thanks Jen!

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About Karen Lee

As a former Captain of Eco Etsy and one of the current leaders for the team, I am really excited to be hanging out with like minded team members to share ideas on how we can leave the least amount of carbon footprint.

I sell eco-handmade and vintage goodies in my Etsy shop and consult small business owners on Karen Lee Consulting where popular Etsy Starter Kit is sold. And as a retired Chiropractor, I share natural health news and green tips on drkarenslee.com. Check out my past posts on Eco Etsy!


  1. What a fantastic article and those photos are incredible. Glad she got a few before falling in lol. Thanks for sharing this Karen, it is food for thought for sure. Far too many species are impacted by the changes in the environment that happen daily. The more we clean up our act the better chance we all have!