Posts Tagged ‘pussywillows’

We took a walk in the Little Red Schoolhouse Woods on Saturday, enjoying the sunny day and the anticipation of spring that is in the air. As we walked, we noticed the swollen buds on the trees, the soft, furry tips of the pussywillow bushes. The prairie grasses were bent, bowing to the strong winds, and the water around the slough was glistening in the sun. While we couldn’t see them, we could hear the call of the Sandhill cranes, miles up, heading north for another season.

It was the first faint notes of a chorus that kept pulling us along the path, however. Tom remembered a spot from last year; a bench and a pond and a party of sorts. As we got closer, the sound intensified until we heard, for the first time this year, the spring peepers! 

Many of you asked what peepers were and I realized that they are a mystery to you. In fact, they were a bit of a mystery to me until just a few years ago when I came upon them performing nature’s symphony at the Morton Arboretum

. Peepers make one think of eyes and optics and vision, or something more sundry like a shady character who looks into women’s windows at night.

Spring peepers, Psuedacris crucifer to be more precise, are tiny frogs that inhabit swampy woodlands. In early spring, when the ice  has melted and the water and air begins to warm, the peepers debut. At only about 1.5 inches (38mm), they are difficult to see, but their singing can be heard from some distance and is often quite boisterous.

We sat on a bench for a spell, taking in the warmth and the wonder of nature, enjoying the spell of the musical moment.

Won’t you sit for a moment and listen as well?

Click here. Then click the listen button.


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