Starry Peeper Night

“The song is ended, but the melody lingers on.” –Irving Berlin

When the windows are closed at the farmhouse the chorus frog symphony is muted, and sometimes I mistake the frogs’ pulses for vibrating crickets.

But last night, around eleven, when I drove into the farm from a concert and opened the entrance gate, a full spring peeper songfest greeted me.

Tree frogs also known as spring peepers were singing around the quarry pond beside our driveway.  Males sing to attract mates and as their voices urgently call forth, humans also pay attention. Whether we find their song an audible harbinger of spring or just a pleasant seasonal sound, the chorus frogs enchant us too.

I couldn’t help but lean back against my Jeep, my black evening dress spreading out around me, as I took in the amphibian performance.

Spring peepers produce their sound from an air sac they puff out and draw in. Each song is different. Their chorus is not the Buddhist-like drone of crickets.  The frogs seem to begin on a low note and trail off on a high one. Some frogs’ voices are lower-pitched than the norm and some raspier, while many are thinner and weaker. Put together the mix makes a pleasing musical.  It’s a musical with a surprise ending though, for one never knows when the peepers will suddenly fall silent.

And so when silence fell like pitch over the landscape, I retreated to my Jeep, pulled my long gown in with me and slowly drove toward the farmhouse.

A tree frog fondly known as a spring peeper or a chorus frog.

http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/007/cache/spring-peeper-frog

 

 

14 thoughts on “Starry Peeper Night

  1. I was just thinking yesterday “I haven’t seen Sher’s blog lately” and here it is. I always enjoy it, so thank you!

    1. I was just thinking yesterday “I haven’t seen Sher’s blog lately” and here it is. I always enjoy it, so thank you! Thanks for your comments Amanda; it is nice to know you enjoy the stories.

  2. Thank you for sharing! I’m sure being out in the country in the quiet of the night amplified the chorus. Truly a treasure and blessing.

    1. Thank you for sharing! I’m sure being out in the country in the quiet of the night amplified the chorus. Truly a treasure and blessing.

      Thanks Tedd and Rymmel–good to hear from you. Sher

  3. I am envious of the peepers, they have dwindled away here. But I am jealous that you got to don a black evening dress and go out!

    1. I am envious of the peepers, they have dwindled away here. But I am jealous that you got to don a black evening dress and go out! Hi Elisabeth – I do get off the farm on occasion. I like classical music and I’ve been a fan of opera since I was a teenager, so I make an effort to get dressed up and go into the city for a performance a few times a year. Good to hear from you. 🙂

  4. You’re very lucky Sher – I hope your country can manage to protect it’s wild places unlike us in the UK who have none left.

    1. You’re very lucky Sher – I hope your country can manage to protect it’s wild places unlike us in the UK who have none left.

      Hi Sue — Thanks for dropping by. It may be just that the US is so much larger than the UK. We have our struggles too in protecting the wild places — believe me.

  5. I enjoy the songs as well – they live in some ponds along the Deschutes river and sometimes my dog likes to hunt them. She never seems to get one before they “fall silent”.

    1. I enjoy the songs as well – they live in some ponds along the Deschutes river and sometimes my dog likes to hunt them. She never seems to get one before they “fall silent”.

      Hi Karen– That is interesting about Susie’s behavior. My dogs pass the frogs right on by. 🙂 I don’t recall that we had these frogs in Alaska? Do you?

  6. I’ve never heard such frogs singing before, but it must be absolutely magical. I don’t think we have frogs in our garden – the hadedas would catch them!

    1. I’ve never heard such frogs singing before, but it must be absolutely magical. I don’t think we have frogs in our garden – the hadedas would catch them!

      Reggie- for our American readers — what are hadedas? You are in South Africa and surely have different reptiles and amphibians there. Do any of your amphibian creatures make noise?

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