On warm evenings in April and May our hills awaken to the life affirming voices of spring peepers. Their shrill calls stir the winter weary soul.
Standing beside a breeding pond, awash in the tumult of hundreds of peeper voices, can be mesmerizing. And remarkable too, considering that the glorious cacophony is produced by frogs the size of postage stamps.
Should you visit a “peeper pond” this spring – an experience I highly recommend, don’t expect to see the frogs easily. Even when their calls resonate all around you they can be surprisingly difficult to locate in a flashlight beam.
After their spring ardor wanes, peepers leave the wetlands to live the remainder of the year in woodlands, sheltered by overhanging parasols of may apple and trillium.
At times during summer or fall, when the spirit moves, they may peep tentatively – wistful echoes of the exuberance of the breeding pools.
Sadly, early spring evenings are silent in much of the GTA save for the ubiquitous sounds of trucks and automobiles. The voices of spring peepers and other frogs have been hushed due to habitat loss.
Here in the hills we should exalt that spring peepers continue to serenade us. The glorious cacophony speaks not only of the health of the peepers, but of myriad other creatures also dependent on our wetlands and woodlands.