My Peeps

Nothing says “Spring” more than the sounds of a world freshly waking up. Birds are starting to sing songs to which the birdie lyrics go something like: “This is my territory. I’ve posted the No Trespassing signs. Go find your own plot of land.” Neighbors are starting up lawnmowers in a still-too-early attempt to outdo everybody else’s fractional acreages. The local rugrats are starting to scrape their knees and slam their doors again. As suburbia begins to come out of its cold induced hibernation, my personal favorite spring noise remains the mating sounds of amorous amphibians.

The Prof and I ventured forth from our pandemic fortress to a local state park in search of the spring peepers that are in full bloom at the moment. For those of you who remain unaware of them, these little inch-long frogs are perhaps the loudest animal per ounce in the world (no attribution, but if someone is willing to go out with a noise meter to get measurements I’ll happily do the decibels/ounce calculations). Standing in the dwindling twilight while surrounded by the deafening cacophony of a chorus of peeps is like standing in a Ridley Scott movie, surrounded by unseen, unknowable life forms. It’s a thrilling, eerie, and weirdly grounding experience. It makes you know Spring has come and it’s arrival is a far larger and unfathomable experience than you can ever comprehend.

The Wiki entry on spring peepers includes a couple of peeper sound clips. If you can’t drive out to listen to them live tonight, treat yourself to some canned spring.

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  1. It’s been far too cold here for the frogs to wake up. But I know exactly what you mean. When you hear them it is a very primal signal that certain seasonal monkey brain responses are appropriate. 🙂

    Another one is lawn mowers. Did you know that Alexa plays ‘summer sounds’ in the ambient category that includes a lawnmower in the background. It’s one of my favorites!

    1. Unless you are still consistently well below freezing, you may be surprised what amphibian life is active around you. Many amphibians become very active in temps that still require me to wear puffy jackets and scarves. Very cold water holds a lot of oxygen, and they love it. Waking up early gives them the advantage of being able to procreate before too many predators are actively looking for them. Not sure where you live, but there’s a fairly good chance you’ve got some sort of frog amplexus going on around your parts.

  2. I sincerely hope that someday you can take me to that park and show me the little frogs while we listen to them. I’ll bring a decibel counter/meter/whatever-those-things-are-called.

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