26 March, 2010

It’s the little things, part 2: Amphibious Edition

Spring has definitely sprung, despite today’s cold nasty weather and the prediction of a light freeze tonight. I know this because the frogs have been chorusing like nobody’s business lately. My neighbor has 60 acres and a couple ponds, and with all the rain we’ve had there’s a bunch of ephemeral puddles and things around which the wee amphibians gather and sing their little hearts out.

I of course have no pictures of them in their adorableness, because the minute you try to sneak up on a frog, it stops singing and becomes invisible. Actually, the Gray Treefrogs are pretty well invisible already when they hang out on trees.

At any rate, in the dark of the morning when I go to work, the Spring Peepers are peeping. You can hear them over at that link, and they are totally hilarious, because when there’s only a few Peepers, they are plaintive and lonely-sounding frogs: peep? peep? But let a few other Peepers move into the area and they become more and more emphatic until suddenly a resounding round of “PEEP! PEEP! PEEP!” is sounding through the woods.

Later in the morning, the Upland Chorus Frogs and Gray Treefrogs start chiming in. Their calls have a similar sound, except that the Upland Chorus Frogs are interrogative, and the Gray Treefrogs are more declarative. Once they start in, it’s nothing but “Rrrrrrt? Rrrrrrrt? Rrrrrrt. Rrrrrrrt.” until the sun gets high enough to send them under cover.

At the end of the day, the frogs reverse their choruses, with the Upland Chorus Frogs and the Gray Treefrogs beginning their songs early in the evening, ceding to the Spring Peepers a little before the bats come out to swoop up bugs. The Peepers then carry us all into nightfall before tucking themselves in. They do get up early, you know.

9 March, 2010

It’s the little things

Last night after torturing Tinkerbella I decided to go for a never-fail stress relief tactic. I took Zille and a tennis ball out to the yard and sat on the stoop watching the sun go down and throwing a ball.

Imagine my delight when I discovered the bats are out of hibernation! I saw something swoop by me in the twilight, flapping in that erratic flappy way bats have, and thought it might have been a particularly awkward bird, but then another flew by me and lo! it was bats.

I am quite fond of the little buggers above and beyond their usefulness for eating insects, so I was pleased to see them up and around after the long, cold winter. I was so pleased that I started contemplating buying freeze-dried crickets for them, but my plan to nourish the bats was thwarted when I couldn’t come up with a good way to launch the crickets into the air for bats to grab.

Alas.

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