Promised snapping turtles last week, but the spring peepers, Pseudacris crucifer, are out and you can hear spring peeper calls everywhere. Just so you know.
In case you read this after it was published, it is now the first week fo February. It is a very warm winter, but it’s still cold enough that you need a fuzzy hat. Which for peepers, translates to sexy-time.
They’re little buggers, the size of a smallish thumb. And despite being pretty common anywhere the water isn’t too nasty, they’re hard as hell to actually get your eyes on. However, they make an insane racket for such a tiny frog. They’re all looking for a place to breed right, and the males will make a huge group ruckus if they find a decent sized pond. And yeah, breeding time is mid winter. That way the tiny tadpoles can get up and out before things get too exciting in their nursery ponds.
Learning frogs one at a time, as they are actively calling, makes the job a bit more tractable. The Piedmont has too many damn frogs, in the number of species sense, not in the number of actual amphibians. Both the number of individual frogs is decreasing, for pretty much everything but bullfrogs, as is the number of species, but the first step to ensuring something doesn’t disappear is to know that it exists. So go find a pond and listen to tiny sex-crazed beasties.