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Jeepers Peepers, It's Spring!

Mary Niehaus RallesOkay, so we can look at the calendar and see that the first day of spring has come and gone. We’re already starting to see some new foliage on the trees; there are a few random bulbs and wildflowers starting to pop up in the yard. And most of us have started some vegetable seedlings indoors in preparation for a summer garden.

But sometimes, long before any of the visual landscape changes, you can actually hear the sounds of spring — beginning with the Peepers calling into the late evening and early dawn.

Not to be confused with Peeps, those wonderfully delicious marshmallow treats that show up in Easter baskets, Peepers are chorus frogs, the ones we see (and hear) as they announce the entrance of one of my favorite seasons. Their melodic chirping is so common and expected that it’s the kind of background noise you can miss if you don’t take a minute or two to listen closely as you drift off to sleep or when you wake each morning.

The sac fully extended of the Spring Peeper
Photo by AdobeStock/Brian Lasenby

Fun Facts about Peepers:

• Peepers “sing” as a part of their mating ritual.

• It’s the guys crooning to the girls, trying to draw them nearer (the universal language of love, even for amphibians).

• Spring Peepers are tough and can survive freezing and thawing (unlike some of our early flowers that fall victim to late frost).

• They’re cute! And their vocal ability is amazing when they “puff” out their vocal sac. Just listen:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwVEI5M-948

If you’re a light sleeper, perhaps you’re not as enamored with these little guys as I have been. As for me, I can’t wait to get back to the seasonal tunes that have a strange calming effect that helps me drift off into a peaceful slumber.

Sing, Peepers, sing! And welcome, spring!!

Mary Niehaus-Ralles
Ohio