A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Music of the Night

This tiny little creature woke up last night. We have a pond next door and each spring we hear the trill of spring peepers at night. I listened to them last night and they would be loud and then, as if some creature scared them, they would stop their singing and be silent. They sort of alternate while "singing". First one would trill and then another. We get many benefits of our neighbor's pond. We get the pleasure of more birds visiting our yard, hearing these peepers, watching koi, hearing the favorite green frog later in the summer....all this without having to do any work to keep the pond going. They are a young couple and watching their kids enjoying the pond is something we like to do.

I love having the windows open, so we can hear all these neat sounds. We have these sounds at night and then early in the morning, before light, our resident robin starts his song, while sitting on the fence. He is joined by the cardinals and blackbirds.. a while later. The cooing of the dove is a favorite sound. I am waiting for our dear little wrens. They usually make their way into our yard around the 1st of May along with our orioles. Until then, I will listen to the froggie chorus in the backyard. Here is some info on these tiny creatures with the big voices.

Northern habitats support 14 species of frogs and toads. The best time to find frogs and toads is in the spring when they emerge from hibernation and converge on the wetland to mate and lay eggs. Western chorus frogs and wood frogs are the first two species to emerge each spring, often as early as late March. Even before all the snow has melted, they may be singing in the wetland. The wood frog's mating period is relatively short, lasting only a couple weeks. The western chorus frogs continue to sing for another few weeks, and they are soon joined by Cope's gray tree frogs, northern leopard frogs and American toads. After they mate many of the frogs will leave the wetland for the upland around it to feed for the summer. However, the green frog can be heard calling with a guttural "gung gung" call from near a tuft of vegetation out in the wetland well into summer. In mid to late summer, plump green tree frogs can be found basking in the sun on a leaf blade.Wood frogs can be seen in the windbreak where their skin color changes to match the rust orange color of the fallen pine needles. When the wetland dries down leopard and green frogs can be spotted on the exposed mud. The small size of western chorus frogs and their cryptic mud coloring makes them very difficult to spot. Someday the quick movement of a very small creature that you see out the corner of your eye may be the brown-striped chorus frog.Key Characters: Large toe pads; dark "X" on back; dark spot or narrow bar between eyes.
Similar Species: Gray treefrogs, bird-voiced treefrog.
Description: Small tan, brown, or gray frog with dark diagonal lines suggesting an "X" on back. Belly white, sometimes with dark flecks. Snout projects beyond lower jaw when viewed in profile. No light spot under eye, or light stripe on upper jaw. Male with folded skin under throat indicating vocal pouch.
Habitat:forests, on trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Most often seen around woodland pools in spring; seldom seen outside breeding season. Breeds in ponds and water-filled depressions in upland forest.
Natural History: Aptly named because it is one of first frogs to call each spring. Diet consists of small insects and spiders. Mates late February through May; some males call in autumn. Call is a soft, clear, ascending "peeeep" repeated about once each second and heard both day and night. Males commonly call in alternating duets or trios while perched in vegetation over water or on surface of water. Several hundred eggs per female, attached singly to sticks or leaf petioles, hatch in a few days, and tadpoles transform in about two months.
Status: Found throughout much of the state, especially along wooded floodplains and wooded uplands where it may be locally common.


One Woman's Journey said...

Oh my - you brought back memories of what I am returning to. The night sounds from the pond. I will be able to once again hear it.
I can remember years ago when my daughter visiting from the city said "this is the noisiest place at night". I smiled because I loved it and did not think it was noisy.
Have a great day.

Barbee' said...

This makes me soooo homesick! I love that music of the night. Thank you for taking us home with you to hear what you hear.

Balisha said...

Hello you two,
I can remember, years ago, going on vacation and not being able to get to sleep because of all the noise around water. On the other hand... sometimes I've heard that it's so quiet that some can't sleep.