The good news: I heard the peepers for the first time this spring as I opened the back door to let the dogs out at 5:30am this morning. The other good news: our blue birds are back as well! N snapped the shots above and below yesterday morning. We’ve had a family of blue birds join us for the past 3-4 years. Also an exciting sign of spring.
The bad news: Back to the peepers — the poor things have to suffer through freezing temperatures this weekend, along with an anticipated 5-8 inches of snow, followed by freezing rain tomorrow. Fortunately, the spring peeper is one of five species of frogs that can actually survive being frozen. When temps dip below 32º F, these little frogs produce their own version of antifreeze to protect their organs. They essentially thaw out with the spring thaw, and we had some temps in the 40s this past week — apparently enough to finally melt the ice in the wetlands in the woods.
For those unfamiliar with one of my favorite first signs of spring, the spring peeper is a tiny, tiny frog (at their largest, about 1.5 inches long) with some tremendously powerful vocal chords. They are widespread throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada. Their chorus can be almost deafening in the early morning and evenings. The chirping is a part of their mating ritual as the males call out — loudly — to the females.
It always heralds the coming of spring in the northeast. Despite the crap-tastic weather expected this weekend; it’s a good sign!
On another bright note – approximately 500 seedlings happily growing in the make-shift nursery in the upstairs guest room! Come on spring!!