My hubby Bill and I went to a wetland in the woods near a trout stream today to listen for the first frog calls of the year.
Usually, the first calls we hear are the shrill chorus of “pee-eeep“s made by the diminutive tree frogs bearing an “X” on their backs, the Spring Peepers.
Field guides tell us to listen for the first Spring Peepers after the first warm rain in March.
Today certainly was warm (mid-70s) but there was no rain, so instead of peepers, we heard the clucking sound of wood frogs, the handsome masked frogs who breed in vernal pools each spring.
Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. Maybe then we will hear the peepers’ trill.
I am a collector of firsts in the spring. First crocus, first frog calls, first forsythia blooms, first skunk cabbage, first robins, first butterflies. On our run yesterday, I saw my first tree swallow of the year, perched on a telephone wire near the high school.
Every year, I tell myself to remain calm, composed, and serene during the first heady days of spring and every year, I fail miserably.
I fling my windows open, stay outside until dark, and return home with wood chips in my hair.
Bill knows to tread lightly in the spring. I go through the house like a dervish, cleaning, polishing, discarding. I register for races and plan trips to exotic locales.
With glittering eyes and wild, uncombed hair, I tend to go on wild flights of fancy, making outlandish plans and setting impossible goals.
Patience, restraint, I tell myself to no avail.
I want to run and dance and twirl in the spring, even though I am much too old for twirling.
Mark Twain understood my affliction and had this to say about it “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
After the long, dark days of winter, I think Mr. Twain must have listened for and rejoiced in the first frog calls of spring too.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
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