Sunday, April 6, 2008

My needle in a haystack

From a distance, all you can hear are Spring Peepers--their shrill voices, a constant now, in the dimness of an early morning or approaching sunset. But, if you move closer, beneath the hundred boldly-singing peepers' deafening calls, the call of a Western Chorus Frog can be heard. Just a handful are here, compared the the hundreds of others--their sound that of a finger stroking the teeth of a fine comb. Equally as small as a peeper, and buried in the grasses rimming Little Pond pool.

A more shy character, with a striped back--instead of a cross.

And very long toes for grasping grasses and branches.

But, equally fond of singing.


Sorry for the poor focus on this individual.
The night is so black, I'm only able to aim the camera in the direction of his call,
and must rely on the camera to adjust.
It seems to prefer this leaf.

ENature has a recording of his call here.

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10 comments:

Eco Enthusiast said...

Great photo of the Western Chorus Frog--I don't think I have ever seen one.

northern birder said...

I have never heard a Western Chorus Frog. I wonder if you could put up a link so we could hear it or somehow imbed the song. Thanks for your consideration.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Great photos Nina. I can almost hear them.

Crayons said...

Hi Nina,
I'm writing from southern Wisconsin where we just heard our first Spring Peepers. It always fills me with a sense of wonder. I didn't know about the other kind of frog. I'll keep my ears open. These photos are wonderful.

Tom said...

Nina- Great shots, yes, I know how hard it is to find these! Except in one pool in Preble County, where I saw hundreds of chorus frogs back in 2003, I usually here 1 chorus frog it seems for every 100 or more peepers.

Tom

nina said...

Eco-enthusiast--This is the first "capture" for me, too--in fact I hear these earlier in the day than the peepers many times, but, especially in broad daylight, they hush themselves and withdraw into the water or grass long before I get close enough! Nightime definitely gave me the advantage!

Northern birder--thanks for visiting--I've added a link to ENature--my favorite online nature guide (with sounds).

Lisa--I'm sure you're outside enjoying this great day!

Crayons--I have peeper tadpoles in a cup on my table--it's neat to see the difference a few hundred miles can make in the progress of Spring!

Tom--I'm glad to hear your impression of the numbers (ratio). Of course I can never be sure exactly what I've got here in this pool, and other areas may differ, but as I sit on the edge and listen, I can pinpoint just 3 or 4 chorus frogs--the rest of the basin is screaming PEEPERS!

mon@rch said...

I have never heard or seen Chorus Frogs! They are cute little things and I love the photos as is!

Cathy said...

I won't be happy now - until I've held a tiny frog or salamander.

Thanks for helping to establish this blessed longing.

zhakee said...

Vernal pools are amazing places. We've lost many of them in my state due to humans. I've only ever visited a few vernal pools and found them interesting places, filled with temporary inhabitants which for the most part, had a very short life, then lay dormant in the bottom mud for most of the year.

mfb said...

I've read through your journal entries on the vernal pools and really enjoyed them. Great storytelling and photos!