Spring is Sprung

March 31, 2010

My true sign of Spring is the song of the peepers. Maybe I should call it a racket, a din, a gala symphony. Pseudacris Crucifer, the spring peeper, named for the little cross on its back, is a small frog that breeds in ponds and swamps throughout the US and Canada. After hibernating under logs or under piles of leaves the warm sun calls them out and slowly the males begin their mating call chorus persisting  to a frantic pitch at night from March through May or so. It’s always so sad to hear just one or two who haven’t found their mate forlornly calling as summer is coming.

This time of year used to signal the time for my boys to go explore the woods for other signs of spring- bits of green poking through the soil, birds arriving back from the winter in the south. Micah inevitably turns over a rock and finds a groggy salamander or two and he can always spot a peeper- so small and camouflaged.

2 Responses to “Spring is Sprung”

  1. Bill Parke Says:

    When I was little, whenever my dad and I were out in the evening, he would ask, “Can you hear the peepers?” I could, of course; growing up in rural Pennsylvania meant being outside a lot in the summer, from morning ’til well after dark.

    A couple years ago, my dad (now well into his eighties) and I were sitting on the back porch, talking. The sun had long since gone and we were enjoying the evening. There was a lull in the conversation and dad asked, “Will, can you hear the peepers?” Pause, while we listened. “Sure can, Dad.” Another pause, a little longer this time. “Will?” “Yeah, Dad?” “What the hell’s a peeper?”

    • joanspear Says:

      What a wonderful story! It is very hard to locate those peepers- I hadn’t seen one until Micah caught one. Tiny little thing, such a loud peep! And they are hard to find- because when you approach they go quiet…

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