Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The first cheerful voice

It was a warm and rainy night.
I woke to a morning that smelled of springtime and life. And, although it was overcast and dim, I threw on a light jacket and headed across the yard to the field.
From across the pasture I heard a faint cry and turned toward the hilltop.

Then, again, his voice.
A spring peeper, the first cheerful voice of ten thousand.

I squatted beside him in the grass and waited for him to sing again. The shrill cry so piercing and fresh.
The warm rain waking him.
His voice, the sound of spring.

With soggy feet and dampened pants, I hopped into a warm shower and got ready for work.
I, too, had some news to proclaim, the first cheerful voice of ten thousand.

In a few weeks their call from this field will be deafening.
There already were several joining him by the time I returned home from work this evening.
On this first, warm morning, it was just him.
And me.

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MojoMan said...

Ohio? Amazing. Here in eastern Massachusetts, I don't hope to hear peepers for another two months.

Susan Gets Native said...

NO WAY. Peepers??????

kate said...

Peepers already ... what a great sound at this time of year. I can't imagine what it will sound like when thousands of them are there.

The grass looks so pretty in your photograph.

nina said...

Mojoman-- yes, Ohio gets peepers early, though this is VERY early for me to hear them. The full chorus will join in soon. It's the first sound I listen for in spring--and when I hear it, it immediately makes me smile--such a happy, questioning call he has! Here! Here! Here!

Susan--Yes way! Can you believe it?? Though this cold will shut him up for a day or so--he's there, and he's ready!

Kate--it's an awesome experience to be in the midst of them, and although I've done it every year, I look forward to putting myself in the middle of it all--ears ringing, little peepers hopping up onto my pantlegs--it's their world (for a couple weeks, at least!)

Deb said...

Wow- like Mojoman, here in Minnesota they're at least two months away. But I'll be happy to hear the first Canada geese honking in a little over a month.

April said...

How lucky! And something nice to think about when you're working. That's a beautiful picture of puddles.

Tom said...

Hi Nina, I hope this little guy was able to get back under cover before our cold snap today! I love spring peepers. Really, it will only be about a month before they are out if full force. Spring is coming!


Dorothy said...

Oh Nina, signs of Spring. I love to hear the Spring peepers. Here in Pennsylvania, they're a full two months away.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You lucky girl. Peepers already. We haven't had the pleasure as yet.

Cathy said...

Nina! You made my heart sing. Oh - sweet, sweet Spring.

NW Nature Nut said...

I heard a frog the other morning too. We get the Pacific Tree Frog (I think?). I haven't heard in in a while, and I immediately remembered last spring, the first spring after our new pond, and I smiled too. I can't wait for the chorus!

Rurality said...

You know, if I heard just ONE peeper I'm not even sure I'd know what it was, LOL.

Marvin said...

What! Our normal walking route takes us within earshot of three ponds and I haven't heard a peeper yet. Congratulations.

mon@rch said...

I just love you are hearing these guys! Such a wonderful way to bring someones spirits up!

me and my camera said...

What a lovely blog... so glad I found it. Very nice pictures and wonderful words.

Suzy said...

Peepers? We'll hear them in April.

nina said...

Deb--Isn't it neat to be able to hear the seasons change

April--yes, I think about getting out until I am!

Tom--I think about him buried under the snow again, how these cold-blooded little things survive.

Dorothy--seeing the signs makes it seem closer than it is, i think

Lisa--You must be very close, too

Cathy--peepers, my favorite sweet sound

nw naturenut--it's such a happy sound, it's contagious

rurality--I'm sure you get quite a chorus in thw warmer areas!

Marvin==he was an early bird peeper, now shoveling out under the grass!

Monarch--yes, my spirits needed it

me and my camera--thank you, come by often!

Suzy--the differences in regions amazes me