Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Some Sights and Sounds of Springtime

A Red-wing Blackbird alights upon a Red Osier Willow.
Among the first arrivals of our feathered friends early last month was a large contingent of Red-winged Blackbirds. While their song is easily recognizable and a sure sign that spring is nigh, it seems this year neither they nor our local meteorologists could agree as to when exactly spring should kick into high gear.

Environs such as this are a spring peeper paradise.
There is no sweeter springtime sound than that of the small chorus frog, commonly known as the "peeper". Their mating season was underway weeks ago and, providing the air temperature doesn’t drop significantly, you will hear their springtime cacophony day or night.

A wood frog warily eyes its surroundings.
It may be the spring peeper whose chorus we are most familiar with, but it’s the wood frog who is usually heard from first. Its raspy call is heard in early spring, often before ice has completely melted.  They are at the lower end of the locally indigenous creatures food chain, often falling prey to just about every other bird, mammal, and reptile they have the misfortune of being spotted by.         

This vernal pool will provide a wonderful micro-environment habitat.
A vernal pool such as the one pictured above is seasonal, perhaps lasting no more than a month or two, depending on the weather. The Spring Peeper and the Wood Frog, as well as certain species of turtles, salamanders, etc., are all reliant on these pools to procreate. They come here to breed, deposit their egg masses and then go back to whence they came. And they don’t necessarily live in close proximity.

Like waterfowl, the aforementioned creatures also have a need to migrate – they just don’t do so on such a grand scale as the birds of the air.  They may simply have to cross a variety of terrain (as well as a dangerous road or two) to get to said place because their biological clock, as well as their ancestral DNA tells them so.  While in our midst however, let us take the time to enjoy their springtime songs of love to one another.

Until Next Time,
Jim & Claudia

1 comment:

  1. I always love your insight on nature. Keep up the great work.

    Thanks, Guy