Thursday, April 2, 2009

Vernal Pond Sounds

Vernal PondI know now that spring is definitely here! On my most recent hiking trip, I intended to just go out to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. I really didn't expect to see anything different, because I had been coming to this park a lot lately. Instead of quiet though, I got a nice noisy surprise.

After I get truly into the forest in Carpenter Lake Nature Sanctuary, one of the first things I see is the Vernal Pond. In case you didn't know, the word vernal means something that occurs during spring. So the pond will probably dry up the rest of the year.

In fact, I watched as this vernal pond went from a dry place last winter, to this very wet pond that is already full of life now in the early days of spring. This has basically become a swamp area, and the water is pretty deep now. I've even seen ducks swimming in it.

Vernal PondThis last time I was there, I heard something different as I entered the forest. The sound was coming from the direction of the pond. I say sound, but it actually was hundreds of sounds. There were far too many sounds to count, but I listened and tried to estimate. It must have been hundreds.

It was the croaking sounds of hundreds of frogs. As I got closer, I could hear the croaking sounds coming from everywhere in the pond. The frog sounds were drowning out everything else in the forest. This was amazing! I have never heard so many frogs before!

Up until now, I didn't think I would ever find frogs around here. I have seen thousands of tiny little toads before, but no frogs in this area. So, you can maybe imagine what a wonderful discovery this was for me. I have no particular love for frogs, but these are still a great new natural discovery for me.

As you can see, I don't have any pictures of them yet. I didn't even see any of them. I looked for them, but the pond is now so big, and the sounds only came from areas that were too deep in there for me to go. I'll be watching for them every time I go back there, so maybe I'll get a few pictures one of these times. But for now, these wonderful sounds were enough for me.

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  1. Your park sounds more similar to my neighbourhood now. The frogs and toads croak loudly after rain. If you ever recorded these, the music is just gorgeous and stereo.

  2. This is really cool! The annual frog count is coming up soon. I've never done it... only know a few of the froggy calls, but I have a friend who does it every year.

  3. We call them "peepers" here...and it is a WONDERFUL sign of spring!!!

    Be careful tho..snakes LOVE frogs, they consider them hors d'oeurves!!!

  4. Rainfield - I was thinking the same about recording them. I actually thought about getting a recording, so I could put it here. I still might do it.

    Sharkbytes - I don't know how to identify any frog calls, but according to the nature preserve there are at least two different types of frog here.

    The Retired One - I've been watching the animals in this park, and I think they know that spring is here, so I won't argue. :)

    I'm not sure there are any real snakes here, except for a few garter snakes. They're probably fat from all of the tasty frogs.

  5. Yes, they're baaaaack...spring peepers! With desire, but lack of time to make my own recording, I did put a link on my blog awhile back to a frog sound website: (Click on the highlighted words in the post that read spring peepers.)

    And Ratty, with your mention of seeing your first cardinal (and now experiencing peepers) I'm feeling kind of privileged here in my corner of CT to have cardinal couples at my birdfeeder regularly and peepers all around. So glad you find excitement in them too! The PBS show Nature will be featuring the endangered frog on Sunday (at least in my area).

  6. Diane KQ - That is a great link! Now maybe I'll learn a little bit about frogs. I bought a recorder awhile ago so I could get things like this, but I keep forgetting to take it with me.

    I'm having fun noticing all of these different creatures for the first time. I've probably seen some of them before, but I didn't pay attention then. I'll need to look for that TV show. I've been searching for something like that, but I keep finding only hunting shows lately.

  7. I know peepers, bullfrog, green frog, gray treefrog and then I'm about done. I have a recording I keep listening to, but I'm not really an auditory learner.

  8. Sharkbytes - The sign at the nature preserve I heard the frogs at, says that the two types of frogs are wood frogs and gray tree frogs. So, at least there's the identity of the frogs I heard.