April 1, 2015, the Frogs are Calling


Winter had a long tail that ran all way to the end of March, but mid-afternoon today when Katy and I pulled into the driveway here in Oshtemo Township we could hear the clatter of the wood frogs calling without having to lower the car windows. We had heard nothing when we left early in the day, but temperatures had been above 60 degrees most of the time since.

We pulled a little farther down the lane and stopped at the second pond. Wood frogs were calling here too but we could also hear another voice. I ran  the window down and we listened to the piercing cheeps of the spring peepers added to the wood frogs.

In the early evening, I walked down the lane to the two ponds. The night was mild and bright; full moon is only four days away.I didn’t have to get very close to the ponds to tell that a third voice had been added to the wood frogs and peepers. The chorus frog had added its distinctive call. Every description of the chorus frog ever written compares its call to the sound of a finger or thumbnail run over the teeth of a comb. It’s a good description; however, considering how loud the calls are when you’re standing next to the pond, it would have to be a big comb and a strong thumb.

I don’t keep anything like a full phenological record, but I can tell you–by looking back at my posts from past years that 2013 was even later–the first wood frogs were calling on 4 April. In 2012, spring was remarkably early; the wood frogs called first on 12 March.

Today, also, Katy heard the calls of the first Eastern Phoebe for the year.

Welcome to Spring, One and All.