Breaking news sports fans! According to my father (Thanks Dad!) the spring peepers are out in full force… and you know what that means!
NO not those kind of peepers (give your head a shake people… that was very disappointing.)
I was referring to the Spring Peeper… as in:
Spring Peeper (Hyla crucifer) noun: A tree frog, having an X-shaped mark on the back and voicing a shrill call commonly heard near ponds and swamps of eastern North America in the early spring.
My family’s folk lore dictates that once the spring peepers have left their muddy hibernation, it is Officially Spring [capital O, capital S] time in this part of the country. Twiterpainted and ready for an active few weeks, its (note: Shrill) mating call is what give it the name “peeper.”
I have probably heard hundreds of thousands of these guys in my lifetime, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one up close. I say they are elusive and mysterious. But it does stand to reason that if you were busy getting your magic going, just a mother nature intended, you would probably be pretty elusive too…. at least to potential predators. (Come to think of it, maybe this is a bit of a “peep” show.)
Trust me, you don’t need to see them to know they are there. These things light up the night.
Given the fact that the closest river to my place is a concrete highway of cars, I don’t get to hear them the same way as I used to when I was growing up. I have to satisfy myself with youtube videos (God Bless YouTube). When I played this soundbite on extra loud the city boy I lived with yelled from the other end of the house thinking something was wrong with the cat.
He also didn’t seem to understand why I like the sound…. and so I tried to explain the fact that it’s one of those sounds that can transport you back to a different time and place…. falling asleep to the spring peepers is one of my most fondest memories of spring.
I’m told this year it was a record breaking year for the first chirps of the peepers. Usually they make their debut around the first week of April, but in my home town they were up and at ’em by the middle of March! Normally a development like this would be a cause for concern over Global Warming and it would have me tweeting: “CLIMATE CHANGE!!! SAVE THE WORLD”!!!
but…. I just can’t fit a Save The Peepers campaign into my schedule at the moment. Plus… I’m kinda happy they are back and Spring is here.