*Frog skin Serpentine (Arizona) frog by Ricky Laahty (signed)
*Rhyolite beads
*Abalone disks, seed beads
*Freshwater pearls
*Sterling setting, beads, findings, flower post earrings
*Necklace is signed, numbered, dated

Length: 23.5"-29" (60 cm - 74 cm)
Frog: 1" x 1" (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm)
Weight: 5.1 oz (146 gm)
Earring drop Length:  1.5" (4 cm)
Earring weight: 3.2 gm ea (a nickel weighs about 5 gm)

Item #639 - $670

Necklace and
Earrings - $670:
    Necklace alone

Serpentine Frog Necklace and Earrings

Serpentine Frog Necklace
Serpentine Frog Necklace Detail
Serpentine Frog Necklace on model
Serpentine Frog Earrings
Serpentine Frog Necklace
Hover to zoom, Click to expand

Ricky Laahty is a Zuni carver who specializes in highly individualistic frogs. This tiny frog was carved from what he calls "frog skin serpentine" and he has a very sweet smile. Mr. Bing gives lots of nice images of Arizona serpentine which looks like our frog, but I'm beginning to think perhaps Ricky named it "frog skin" himself since a shallow search didn't turn up any references using that name. Common names for varieties of serpentine abound, why not name a pretty green patterned rock after the little creature hidden within?

The froglet sits on a beaded surface so he will stay upright when worn. As long as you put the necklace on untwisted and the frog sitting properly, he stays upright just fine. He hides though, as tree frogs do. I'll tell you a story about that if you care to read it: There is a 10-mile loop hike I enjoy at our local Cuyamaca State Park. Before the effects of climate change really started to kick in bringing a resurgence of beetles and two devastating fires, it used to be a lovely gambol through the grasslands and forested areas of the park. It starts on the Harvey Moore trail, heads up to Granite Springs past a sweep of tall grasses where the wind loves to play, then north-ish for a long very quiet stretch (so seldom hiked a ranger on horseback once stopped and asked me if I knew where I was) to eventually drop down, cross a tiny stream then around past the huge bee hive, over more grassland and eventually back to the starting point. There is a little pool near the stream crossing, and I usually choose a rock to settle down on and watch there. Once there was roiling in that tiny pond and eventually I saw a couple of decent-sized catfish in the murky water. Sometimes it is full of tadpoles. There are always big orange dragonflies and iridescent damsel flies in attendance. This day was mid-summer, very hot, and slight breeze over the water made it seem a bit cooler. But somebody was watching me. Hmmm. It was probably too hot for a mountain lion to be about, but since they, unlike say jaguars, attack from above and behind if they possibly can, I did look around behind me pretty carefully. This was before bears were as common in Cuyamaca so I didn't even think about a bear. Once I felt something similar up on Palomar Mountain and turned to see a huge rattler hanging over a ledge on the dry falls right behind me, in a remarkably frozen position given the amount of snake that was hanging free, staring at me and wondering what I was. I greeted him and quietly moved away to avoid interrupting his travels. No rattlers seemed to be around today, but I was studying the rocks quite closely because rattlers can be remarkably difficult to see lying there in plain sight. I've had them curl up next to me without my realizing it, so I'm pretty careful about checking around before I put my hands down or move about in the rocks. Finally I caught the tiniest glint. Was it a fleck of pyrite in the rock? Why no, it was a micro eyeball! It was attached to a tiny tree frog who was making himself invisible by looking for all the world like a sliver of rock in a little crevice. And then there was another, and another... ultimately too many to count! The rocks were positively stuffed with tree frogs, all watching me intently and trying to work a "go away" spell on me. I've written about these little rascals before (there's a search box on my home page if you want to look for other stories), they're incredibly smart and strong, but still when you're not much bigger than the little fellow on this necklace, can you even imagine what a giant human would look like to you? Poor babies! Needless to say I apologized for disturbing them and moved on.

This necklace, with its rich mossy rhyolite, freshwater pearls and abalone, would be happy worn with casual attire or a business suit. Perhaps someone will notice an eyeball and then smile to see the frog, but most will never guess the little tyke is whispering in your ear. Who knows what he will come up with? Perhaps "leap away from this situation" or "watch quietly" or "it's time for a swim!" Is he calling to you? He would love to have a good home.