Dam Big Bullfrog


Pennsylvania AdventuresWe got there just in time to be serenaded. Ribbit, ribbit ribbit, dork ribbit, splabit dork, splabit. Dusk came quickly to the banks of the Mt. Holly Dam, home to hundreds of bullfrogs, some little, some big. We were being greeted. Dad took us (us being a brother or two) quite often to this place, Mt. Holly Dam, only 2 1/2 miles from home. Friday night arrived, he and Mom were done working for another week. No homework for the weekend. We came here frequently for a night of fishing and relaxation.

Mid-July, and the weather for this evening could not be better. The moon hid in its dark phase, as a soft, gentle breeze from the south created small ripples on the water, and gently caressed our skin.

Hooks were baited and cast into the cool mountain water, lanterns were lit, and everyone settled back into a favorite fishing chair. The not-so-lucky ones found a log or rock on which to sit. The frogs quieted down somewhat. For the most part, peace and tranquility settled along the banks that night. The sounds of water slowly spilling over the breast of the dam were relaxing. Any moment now someone may get a strike. Catfish, bluegills, eels and bass were always fair game. Occasionally a pickerel or pike would bite. We were relaxing and fishing, not a bad combination. I may have even given thoughts to checking out the goody bag. After all, two long hours had passed since this young boy of 15 had eaten, and fishing is tough: you gotta keep your strength up.

Occasionally the silence was broken by a slap, slap, slap of something flat being beaten against the surface of the water. We were not far from the dam and knew that a beaver, upset, or had found a beaver smorgasbord, could be sending signals to another beaver. Beavers use their big fat, flat tails for a lot of things.

Suddenly there was a rush of warm wind, which awoke the sleepy frogs. Ribbit, ribbit, dork, BA-ROOM, BA-ROOM, BA-ROOM sounded to our left. I jumped up, and immediately shouted "Dad, Dad did you hear that." Of course he did, sitting right next to me. Again BA-ROOM, BA-ROOM, BA-ROOM sounds came from our left. A big bullfrog, taking a stand and letting its presence be known, came even closer than we expected. As I stood there, Dad burning more Prince Albert in his pipe, and with a twinkle in his eye, began to reel in one of his cast-out lines. BA-ROOM, BA-ROOM, BA-ROOM, this dam, big bullfrog wanted some attention. Dad is going to oblige him.

Mt Holly Springs Dam has quite a storied past. In the 1800s, Mountain Creek was dammed to supply water to generate power to the paper mills nearby. In 1863, Confederate soldiers marched into nearby Mt Holly Springs and raided the town for paper machine parts, on their way to defeat at Gettysburg. 1900 saw the area turned into a recreational park and preserve with people coming from miles around to ride the Trolley to Holly. This lasted for 15 years until the automobile became a reality. The park closed in 1928. Still the town continued to flourish as other paper mills were built and made use of the water.

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