I love the sound of Spring Peepers. I frequently heard their evening song at our old house in Maine which was surrounded by woods with many running creeks and a neighboring man-made pond, but I was surprised (and thrilled) one evening to hear them here at our village home in Clayton, New York as we are no longer surrounded by woods but by sidewalks. Now I listen for them each Spring evening.
It is the forest floor close to swamp, marsh or ephemeral wetland where Peepers live. In Spring they gather by the hundreds in small areas of wetland, swamp, temporary pools and pits of water, or farm ponds to mate and make more peeps. Their calls can be heard from as far as one mile to two and a half miles depending on how many are gathered at the watering hole – well, that explains my wonderful evening serenades. We are two blocks from the St. Lawrence River and one block away from French Bay which turns into French Creek and wetland along a forest edge as it moves inland. Sound carries over water in the still of the night and brings us the song of the peeper, as well as geese and coy dogs, to our windows.
We frequently walk Mojo (the mud mop), at nearby Zenda Farm preserve. A wonderful preserve maintained by the Thousand Island Land Trust that also hosts our community garden (of which I hope to share with you this summer). Now I have learned Spring Peepers will peep day and night as long as the temperature is above freezing, and they are frequently heard but never seen because they hide in dense plants, under logs and leaves. I myself, have never actually seen one, but “Spring surprise” we chanced upon this pool of water on our walk at Zenda Farm that was unmistakably peeping! … and then moving closer, as if by the flip of a switch, completely silent.
|To the left of this photo is a stretch of forested land.|
It amazed me that this volume of sound could come from such a small pool of water. On our way back, I snuck up on the pool and recorded the peeping.
I didn’t want to chance stepping closer to the pool to possibly catch a live glimpse of a Peeper because Mojo would invariably follow and tromp right in most likely squashing all in his four-pawed path, then proceed to roll in the muck. May they keep peeping on.