Op-Ed For Amphibians

Photographs and video were taken by Bobby Altman at the Francis Marion National Forest, S.C., with assistance from Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy, a national nonprofit.

Every now and then we link to a gem by Margaret Renkl, and these often calm the environmentally-rattled nerves, as is the case today:

Why Tiny Ponds and Singing Frogs Matter So Much

NASHVILLE — I wish you could hear what it sounds like to sleep near an ephemeral pond in early springtime on the Cumberland Plateau, especially on a rainy night. As darkness begins to fall, the small frogs called spring peepers begin to sing. At first their song is the sonic equivalent of the way popcorn pops: each peep a single sound, each sound buffered on either side by silence.

Peep.

Peep.

Peep.

Peep.

Then: Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep.

Finally it’s PeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeepPeep.

As darkness gathers, new songs gather, too. Soon the whole pond is singing, and the night becomes an amphitheater for the chorus. Scriiiiiitchscriiiiiitchscriiiiiitchsing the upland chorus frogsOooeeeeeeeeeeeoooeeeeeeeeeeesing the American toads. Sometimes you can hear the rattly keeukkeeukkeeuk of the wood frogs, too, and the raspy aaa-aaa-aaa-aaa of the gray tree frogs

Read the whole op-ed here.

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