Monday, February 04, 2008
Every year, I make note of the day the frogs awaken. It means something to me and no doubt, it means something to those who keep track of such things as how wide the wooly bugger caterpillar stripes are; how many salamanders are found far from water; how low the hornets are building their nests in the trees.
I have kept track of this for a few years. In 2007, they woke on January 16th. In 2006, they started to sing on February 15th. I’m hoping, because they split the difference this year, we will get rain and grass. Of course, it may mean the weather warmed up enough that they decided to stir from the mud. They buried themselves in the quiet squishy depths of the pond only a few months ago.
They say amphibians are the sentinels of the environment. Indeed, if you want to know where we are headed, ask the frogs. They will tell you, if you will listen to their song. But you have to listen very carefully.
This evening, I imagine the hundreds of frogs I saw this morning singing in the bullfrog pond, will draw the hungry possums, raccoons and foxes to the feast. They will thin out the population to more manageable levels. February is mating season for foxes and the music of frogsong will soon give way to the yips and growls down the mountain. Nighttime will no longer be silent.
It’s the first sign of spring on my mountain. Frogsong.
Crossposted to Hillbilly Savants.