For several weeks now I thought I was hearing spring peepers serenading us through the night. Spring peepers are little frogs that start their high-pitched songs very early in spring, marking the end of winter. Along with the first sighting of robins, everyone is excited to report their first “spring peepers.”
The dogs have been spending hours each day at the pond, circling it, wading into it.
So I decided to investigate and found these creatures:
Our male dog (dark-haired) was content to just sniff the critters; but our female dog (sandy-colored) liked to paw them, snatch them with her mouth, then drop them at the edge of the pond. She didn’t seem to hurt them, certainly wasn’t interested in eating them, but the joy of the hunt entertained her for hours.
I noticed there were about half a dozen mating couples. They were so blissed out by their meditative activity that they didn’t even try to swim away from the dogs.
And then the trilling started: first one male bloating his throat sac, then another one at the other end of the pond responding (or perhaps competing). The sound was shrill but strangely harmonious and trance-like.
The things we don’t do to attract a mate!
I am sure this male would be very attractive to a female of its kind, sparkling gold accents, powerful voice, husky shoulders and all.
I believe these critters are probably toads instead of frogs (notice their “warty” skin). They are large enough to fit into the cup of my hand; that is, if I cared to place them in my hand, which I don’t. If anyone knows what they are, please leave a comment.