Wednesday, April 28, 2010

full moon frogs

A full-time job is nice for the whole regular income thing, but it doesn't leave a lot of time or energy for frolicking (or, for that matter, laundry or dishes or cooking real food or...)

Nevertheless, I got out for a small walk tonight. I volunteered to survey frogs in Hartley this spring, but have so far been a very bad frog counter and only got out once. It's been such a warm and dry spring that I really should have gone frogging a couple times in the earlier part of the month, but later is better than never, I guess. Too bad the frog survey isn't done city-wide, because doing the Antenna Farm would be a snap for me, and I think those frogs deserve some kind of official recognition, too.

Spring continues to gallop along. The trees are leafing out more fully, and now there are flowering forbs. I've seen marsh marigold at work for the past week, and it was flowering in Hartley today, too, along with white and lavender violets. Mayflowers leaves are lush and verdant, with flower buds just starting to form, and a few wood anemones were budding out, too. Currant bushes are flowering, too, and although I must admit that I haven't previously taken specific, phenological notice of when currants normally flower, that seems insanely early to me. (Checking records now, I guess I have a picture of currant flowers from May 5, 2006, so maybe it's not all that early.)

But the frogs were the reason I went out there, and the frogs did not disappoint, even with as dry as it's been. After dusk, the air vibrated with frog songs, which made the darkness seem more friendly and cozy (it was too cloudy for the moon to cast much light). Chorus frogs were the loudest and most prevalent, singing from almost every vernal pool within earshot, and in the marsh below Rock Knob there were also spring peepers and exactly one lonely wood frog. The peepers were loud enough that there must have been some just a few feet off of the trail, and waves and waves of chorus frogs played behind them. It was so dark that I could only see the outline of the trees, trail and water, and although it would have been neat to be able to actually watch the frogs sing, I also feel like bringing a flashlight would have ruined the magic of it.

This video is pitch black, and the microphone on my camera is not that great, and of course it doesn't capture the actual experience of standing out in a marsh at night enveloped in music, but I still feel the need to record and share the frogs from Hartley tonight.

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