Sunday, March 17, 2013

Of Toads and Frogs and Throat Singing

Yesterday, at Lake Cheston, a hiker asked, "Are you Robley Mobley?" 

"Close," I answered. I recognized him. "You're the fellow I met last year who was wearing the Boy Scout shirt!"

"Still am," he said, and showed me the neckline under his jacket. "I haven't seen any dragonflies," he added, "but the toads are out!"

With that, he took off in one direction and I in another.

The male American Toads gather in the lake run-off at dam's end and sing out for females. Their warbling notes can be heard all the way around the lake, even at the beach, and up close, the sound can be pleasantly deafening. Just give them a listen.

Lighter in voice and much much smaller, Spring Peepers started earlier. Last night, when I pulled up at my friend Sue's house, I could hear their high-pitched song, even before getting out of the car. She told me that one year there were so many in the ephemeral pond across the street that they paraded across the road and up her sidewalk. Imagine! A little procession of singing frogs in your own yard!

Think of toads and peepers like the same but different tones heard in this Mongolian overtone singer's voice.

Amazing, yes?

The Odonates have not yet appeared, but I am heartened by the musical amphibians and the smiling gentleman in Boy Scout shirt. As he said, "Winter's blowing into spring right now!"

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