A week ago this post was going to be about frogs, but when I stepped outside this morning I was serenaded by the pretty songs of robins and red-winged blackbirds.
And earlier in the week I was awakened at 5:45 in the morning by a cardinal singing right outside the bedroom window. So now this post is about springtime nature songs.
The frogs always start singing around the first of March at Tangled Branches South. The first year we were here I thought they were Spring Peepers, but now I know that the first ones we hear are Chorus Frogs. Specifically, Upland Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris feriarum). I’ve heard them every spring since 2007, but never seen a single one. They’re tiny things – the Virginia Herpetological Society says the largest one ever recorded was a whopping 1.5 inches long. They’re also a nice mud brown color, or so I’m told, because as I said, I’ve never seen one. But I know where they live because when they start singing they’re impossible to ignore – the sound is that loud. So last Friday, a sunny pleasant day, I headed for the source of the sound – a nearby stream. This isn’t much of a stream, more of a ditch really, with a few inches of water in it. This is what I heard.
Although I’ve never seen an adult Chorus Frog, I found the result of all that singing. Frog spawn.
With any luck, those dark spots will turn into tadpoles and then into frogs. Since that photo was taken, however, we’ve had two heavy rainstorms (and it’s pouring rain and rumbling thunder again right now). I went back earlier this afternoon to see if the eggs were still there but found none.
Now I’m a little confused about what I see in that photo. According something I read (and can’t find again), each species of frog lays eggs in a particular pattern. The eggs attached to the stem in the water look to me like a different pattern than blobs nearby. What do you think? Should I be listening for more than one type of frog song in early March?