It really is spring in the northwest when the nettles under the cedar trees begin to poke out, the flowering red currant unfurls it’s pink buds and our chorus of Pacific tree frogs – the spring peepers – fill the air with ka-reeks that can be heard all over the farm.
There is something about the peepers’ return that brings a huge grin to my face when I hear their first calls in spring.
In mid February the males begin migrating to ponds and wetlands to woo the females out of hiding. Their songs sound like a bagful of little pebbles clicking or very small sleigh bells jingling. These small creatures are only 2 inches long and when the male sings his throat swells to 3 times the size of it’s head.
The male chorus continues for days before the females, listening intently, decide which crooner will be their mate. After she picks ‘the one’, he jumps on her back and wraps himself around her in one big frog hug. She swims away taking the male for a ride while she lays her eggs at the base of reeds and grasses.
What joy to be carried around the pond while the female holds the voice of spring on her back!