Thursday, March 19, 2009


We have a “vernal pool” back behind our house in the woods.  It’s actually a big mud puddle caused by ATVs that roar through our property on what used to be a gas pipeline, spoiling the path for anyone who would like to walk through.

The frogs and toads don’t know it’s a motorized disaster-in-the-making, and they enliven our lives by using it as a place to lay eggs and grow their babies. 

The last few years, we’ve had the privilege of having rather different critters in the pool:  wood frogs.  Instead of the usual “peep-peep” of the spring peepers, we hear a loud “clack-clack”—even in the daytime.  The first year we heard these, we were completely mystified over what sounded like a large gathering of turkeys in the woods.  They are supposed to be common, but I don’t hear them elsewhere. 

They’re extremely shy and it’s almost impossible to catch a glimpse of them.  Before we can even sneak close to the pool, they become silent and invisible.

Today it is cool, so I crept out there, hoping they wouldn’t all be sleeping at the bottom of the pool, waiting for the sun.  But they are.  It’s simply a puddle of mud and leaves, quiet and undisturbed.  Lifeless.
But I know.


  1. Wood frogs, eh? I liked the audio. It made the pond come even more alive. And I love the way you said that this potential ruin was just a place to lay eggs and grow their babies. It makes me love nature even more.

  2. Even if I don' t know what is ATVs , I understood the main thing . Life envades all of the places progressively . Next time , when we  go to the pond you will be luckier in seeing frogs or toads .Some people have fear of toads although they are completely sweet and also they have a golden iris so the most beautiful eyes among the living beings .Love Michel

  3. We hear the spring toads too. I need to go see about the tadpoles this year. I guess I wouldn't like the ATV's going across my property. What if they squish some kind of little bug that I never got a picture of yet?

  4. Wow! That recording was really cool.  We are fortunate to have a wetlands behind our house so we get to listen to the spring peepers too.  I've looked for spring peepers many times over the years but have NEVER seen even one!  I know they exist because I can hear them, but if one came up and gummed me on the leg I wouldn't know what it was .   We never saw turkeys until we moved to PA (although we have seen the occasional guinea hen)

  5. @micro_dad - The idea of a spring peeper gumming you on the leg really cracks me up!