By Jungle Bob
Ahhhh Spring! The thought of spring conjures up many sights, smells and sounds.
After a long, hard winter, that red, red robin is a sight for frozen eyes to many and a sign of things to come for all. The beautiful colors of crocus’ plants emerging from the remnants of the last snowfall we know will be followed by a kaleidoscope of gorgeous spring flowers and the smell of spring is suddenly in the air!
But for me, it is the shrill call of the Spring Peeper, a tiny little frog native to Long Island that tells me for sure spring has arrived. Many within earshot would think these sounds were made from an insect or perhaps the latest electronic gadget, not some kind of tiny amphibian.
Adventurous types may walk toward the noise to investigate what is causing all that chattering, only to be thwarted every time, as the peeper is secretive, well camouflaged and when “danger “ appears, it goes quiet, only to start again as soon as you walk away. Suffice to say, peepers are heard but seldom seen.
At less than an inch in size, these little amphibians can really turn up the volume as any of you who live near a wetland or small pond can attest. The decibel level of a group of frogs can be almost deafening at night. After a spring shower and right at dusk the chorus amps up considerably.
This truly is nature calling as the sounds are actually mating calls emitted only by male frogs, who fill up their vocal sacs with air, like little balloons and then push it through their vocal chords to obtain the amazing pitch we hear each spring. The bigger the voice sac, the louder the sound and the more a male frog has a chance at a spring romance.
Those nor’easters will hopefully be well behind us when the peeping begins this year. So a take a walk on the wild side one evening and see if you can hear that spring has arrived!
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