Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Peeps

The peepers call from across the yard.
Even in the brightness of late afternoon, as I arrive home, several shrill voices greet me. By nightfall, the sound will be deafening.

From the distant corners of our "neighborhood"--as we walk our country block--this sound of jingling sleighbells from Little Pond pool can be heard.

With my boots and flashlight, I head off across the grass toward the din.
My footsteps do not seem to bother them as I approach. Their piercing calls masking all other noise.

One pass of my light across the surface of the pool silences them.

I settle in and wait, light dimmed inside my jacket, eyes scanning the surface. The moment's silence is hurriedly filled with their voices again.
First, one.
Then, many.

From the safety of the water, they emerge,
with tree-frog toe pads to perches and rafts above the surface.
The chorus goes on until dawn.

If you look closely at these pictures, you can see small, dark mosquito larvae that will make up some of the invertebrates--an important food source for the developing salamanders in these vernal pools. A healthy amphibian population here should keep these well controlled.

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Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think it amazing that you can get those pictureds. When I try they are so illusive. Of course I am not out at night as much. Great pictures. They are singing away in our area too.

MojoMan said...

Wonderful photos! They clearly show crosses on the back of these little frogs, making me think they might be Hyla crucifer, referring to the crucifix.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Fantastic pictures and post.. I really do enjoy coming here and reading about these pools.

Drowsey Monkey said...

He looks so little in that 3rd photo ... so cute. Great photos & post, as always :)

ncmountainwoman said...

Amazing how the Little Pond changes from day to day. We are taking great delight in your pictures..and learning a lot as well.

And our admiration increases for someone going out in the dark to take these great photos to share with us.

Mary said...

Nina, I'd have so much fun with flashlight in my jacket...watching...waiting. Like a little kid. You make me smile.

mon@rch said...

I just love your little peepers! What cute noisy little things they are!

pinenut said...

I enjoy your blog so much that I'm going to make you work even harder by tagging you with a meme--to write a six-word memoir of your "inner birder," whatever that means to you. Here's a link to my attempt: http://pinesabovesnow.blogspot.com/2008/03/capturing-your-inner-birder.html .

Also--thanks for the link to a vernal pool field guide. I'll let you know what we discover. Best, Julie

Mel said...

Great pics!

Marvin said...

Patience pays off. Great work, Nina.

Cathy said...

Oh deafen me, please! It's still so quite here. The local vernal ponds are still locked in ice.

Wonderful photos, Nina.

Jennifer said...

Our vernal pond is accessible - not flooded all the way to the path like it gets some springs! But still frozen... And so I wait...