The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Jeepers Peepers!

6 Comments

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.

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Author: Kathy Sturr

Author of the Violet Fern blog, artist, and master gardener.

6 thoughts on “Jeepers Peepers!

  1. That is a rather soothing song. I've heard OF spring peepers, but thanks to you, this is the first time I've heard them. Ours are raucous toads, more OOM PAH!!

  2. They are one of my favorite spring sounds…they live in the pond behind my house and started peeping 3/13 all at once at dusk…the sound is deafening all night and in the day but I love it…now with the cold snap they will be quiet again at night…they'll be signing again soon though…I just read that they are in jeopardy because of chemical runoff in the areas they frequent from storm drains that carry lawn chemicals especially…I would hate to stop hearing their peeping 😦

  3. Oh I'd love to hear them in person! Where we are we never hear anything like that.

  4. Love spring peepers, great post Kathy. Still waiting for ours to start calling, any day now!

  5. A wetland is in our backyard and we can't listen to the radio at night because the peepers are so loud. I love the sound. I am trying to get a photo. Hopefully before Spring ends.

  6. It's so interesting how everything just knows it's time…time to start peeping, growing, singing…spring is glorious!

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