Celebrate the songs of spring

Published March 19, 2010

Mother Nature has subtle ways of reminding us that winter is quickly coming to an end. The trees are beginning to bud, and early bulbs are peeking through the earth where just a few weeks ago snow was piled high. Mother Nature is also telling us to listen. Do you hear the birds and frogs singing? Yes, frogs. They are quite good singers!

Frogs are emerging to announce the new season. Each winter frogs go into hibernation. Wood frogs actually freeze, but do not die. As the temperature drops, a wood frog will bury itself. It stops breathing, its heart stops beating, and the water in its body turns to ice. Come spring, these frogs are the first to emerge, as early as February and March, even with ice still on the ponds. Listen for the males calling. It sounds something like quacking or clucking.

The spring peepers are the next group to begin their chorus, and they are extremely vocal. This small frog, the size of a thumb nail, can produce sounds louder than a vacuum cleaner. An entire chorus of peepers (120dB) can top the decibel level of a rock concert (115 dB)! Though nocturnal, the peeper gets its name from its call. It peeps once a second!

Spring has arrived and the frogs are calling for you to get outside and enjoy the weather. Looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Check out the DC Environmental Film Festival. This year the festival is proud to present 155 diverse and thought-provoking films that celebrate the wonder of the natural world and illuminate the growing challenges to life on earth. Join our own expert - Leah Neal as a guest speaker. You can find out more about the film and screening here.

We'd love to know what you are doing to celebrate the start of spring. Please share with us!

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