A Patch of Frog

The road between the cottage (where I am staying) and my parents’ house is about 250 meters long and crosses a wetland, what we collectively refer to as the bog. (My father wrote what I consider his best book about the bog, nature observations interwoven with other wet and memorable bits of his life.) The area changes a lot from season to season, often drying out (mostly) during the summer. Right now it’s very full of water and birds, and an occasional fleeing deer. Over the past week, as I have walked back to the cottage after dinner, I have almost stepped on a couple of couples of copulating frogs, a couple of times. They mate here and there, including on the bog road, and then deposit their fertilized eggs in shallow parts of the water. But with the cold weather (including much snow), we’ve been a bit worried that the frogs’ reproductive patterns might be getting screwed up (as it were) a bit.

All this to say that, as I was getting into bed last night, I was very pleased to hear a surprisingly raucous chorus of peeping, croaking, gargling, groaning, shouting, and arrrpping coming through the night air. I opened the sliding door to the upstairs deck and recorded a bit of this lovely sound:

And then I got cranky because it went on until about 3:15 am, when the rain finally started again and shut the little fuckers up. Yay, nature!


2 thoughts on “A Patch of Frog”

  1. The frogs have gotten progressively more noisome over the last three nights. On the 15th and 16th, I recorded their chorus from the same location on the cottage balcony, and the decibel levels on my little audio recording app were noticeably higher. Tonight, as I slogged across the bog road, heavy rains have left huge pools of water in the tire tracks, and the pebble-and-sand surface is uncomfortably spongy under my feet. But the sound from those screaming amphibians is a raging white frequency in which peep and groan and arrrp are indistinguishable. I take this as a good sign—an indication of increased physical (and not just audible) volume—since wetland frogs are apparently a marker species of ecological health. They occupy a liminal, predator-prey space, and are super important for maintaining various equilibria among the web of those who eat and those who are eaten.

    Bloody loud, though.

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