Jeepers Creepers…

Welcome back, Spring Peepers! I noticed the other night as I was driving home with my windows down that the Spring Peepers are back! Yayyy! I love listening to these little guys, because they are a sure sign that if Spring isn’t here yet, it soon will be.

I’m sure you have all probably heard them at some point (even if it’s just in a movie soundtrack). They are the chorus frogs most recognized by people. For those of you who have never met Pseudacris crucifer here is what they look like:

Cute, huh? They are only about 1 – 1.5 inches long, so they’re itty bitty amphibians with a huge sound! 🙂 Especially when they get together in large numbers.  Here is an example of what they sound like:

Peepers can have tan, brown, green or grey skin and have a large darker color “X” pattern on their backs which makes them easy to identify.

Image borrowed from tumblr.com ....Do you see the X?

These tiny frogs are nocturnal and have an average lifespan of only about 3 years. 😦  They also have large toe pads for climbing, but prefer to stay on the ground or on lily pads. They lay their eggs in water (usually about 900 of them at a go!) and are usually ready to leave the water after about eight weeks.

Spring Peepers hibernate during winter, like many frogs, and amazingly enough, they can allow most of their bodies to freeze and still survive!  They do this “…by producing an anti-freeze like substance, glycerol, in their tissues. This prevents ice crystals from forming inside of their cells (thus killing the cell). They thaw and come out of hibernation when warm temperatures return in the spring.” (source: Biokids.umich.edu)

Image borrowed from boostinginspiration.com

For those of you who don’t know, frogs (of all kinds) are what scientists call “Indicator Species”.  What this means, is that frogs are a species of animal that are especially sensitive to changes in the environment, like diseases, pollution, climate change or threats from invasive and non-native species to an area.  When frogs start dying off in an area, it’s a huge red flag to scientists that something is very wrong.  Our little Spring Peeper buddies are actually on the “threatened species” list in Iowa and Kansas, due to severe loss of habitat (wetlands) from pollution and deforestation.

Image borrowed from ecographica.blogspot.com

I’m so glad they’re still in abundance down here in TN! 🙂 Just hearing their symphony at night makes me smile, knowing that these tiny frogs are welcoming Spring in such a big way!

Advertisements

About dragonkatet

Regarding the blog name, Dragon’s Dreams ~ The name comes from my love-affairs with both Dragons and Dreams (capital Ds). It’s another extension of who I am, a facet for expression; a place and way to reach other like-minded, creative individuals. I post poetry and images that fascinate or move me, because that’s my favorite way to view the world. I post about things important to me and the world in which we live, try to champion extra important political, societal and environmental issues, etc. Sometimes I wax philosophical, because it’s also a place where I always seem to learn about myself, too, by interacting with some of the brightest minds, souls and hearts out there. It’s all about ‘connection(s)’ and I don’t mean “net-working” with people for personal gain, but rather, the expansion of the 4 L’s: Light, Love, Laughter, Learning.
This entry was posted in Animals, Ecology, Environment, Nature, Spring. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Jeepers Creepers…

  1. wightrabbit says:

    This is so interesting – I didn’t really know anything about frogs, although we sometimes uncover one in our garden. It’s good to know that spring is on it’s way – although it doesn’t look much like it here in the UK, this morning!

    • dragonkatet says:

      😀 Thanks, wightrabbit! You may actually have toads in your garden (or maybe they are frogs). I don’t know much about amphibians outside of the U.S. but I think I will put that on my list of things to investigate! I soooo agree about being ready for Spring! Too much time indoors gave me cabin fever over the winter. Hope it gets to your neck of the woods soon!

      • wightrabbit says:

        we do have a fishing lake nearby, so I guess the critters, whatever they are, come from there. I must carry out some research myself – they all look different.

  2. Loved this, and love their sound. 🙂

    • dragonkatet says:

      🙂 Thanks, Cap’n. I guess you don’t get to hear many frog songs out there on the water. Sorry I have been M.I.A. aboard the Glenna Jane lately, I’ve been swamped with the Spring Semester here at work and of course, things needing tended to at home. But I sure am glad Spring is just around the corner (if it’s not here already…don’t wanna jinx it, ya know) 😉 I will be paying your place a visit very soon, my friend. Thanks for being patient!

  3. I love frogs too and they show up here in the CA desert around this time of year. For me they are a symbol of my favorite time of year.

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thank you, Victoria! I didn’t even realize the desert had many frogs. I know about horny toads and lizards loving that climate, but I guess I never thought there were many frogs out there. How awesome and I hope you get to hear them sing soon! 🙂

  4. Jo Bryant says:

    what a great post…frogs here…the native ones…are struggling. Not a good sign

  5. Oh, you know if Spring is here that makes us close to SUMMER! 🙂 Here is where I have a big smile on my face! It was nice to read the info … thanks for sharing!

  6. eebrinker says:

    awwwwwwwwww…..that is so cool. little musical frogs. isn’t there a type of frog that got mistakenly introduced to australia and became big problem? only mentioning because ironic then that the frog..or maybe it was a type of toad….was what threw things off. sorry have lost wetlands, but glad you have your little budies back…:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s