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Sights and Sounds
Did you ever realize how quiet snow is? I suppose that could be a positive aspect of the winter season, but I have to say, I’M GLAD IT’S NOT QUIET ANYMORE!
One of the best spring sounds comes from our amphibian
friend, the Spring Peeper. Peepers are one of the earliest
callers among the dozens of frog species found in northern
Michigan. Remember those first warm days in early April?
That high pitched “peep” was the Peeper as if reciting its
name and announcing spring’s arrival.
The female has her work cut out for her, laying 750-1200 eggs. The eggs stay together in clumps and attach to wetland grasses and twigs. If the weather is warm, eggs can hatch as early as four days, but if mother nature brings forth a cold spell, it could be two weeks. Two to three months after the hatch, tadpoles are now young Spring Peepers and they leave the pond.
They spend the summer eating bugs: spiders, ticks, ants and caterpillars. Not quite peanut butter and jelly, but it does make them grow to a whopping 1- 1½-inches long.
And you know how you look like your mom and dad? Well, the Peepers keep their good looks in the family as well. There is a very distinctive dark brown “X” on their back which should be easy to distinguish if you’re lucky enough to see one.
If you do go on a Peeper hunt, your campground could be the perfect place if surrounded by damp woods, swamps and marshes. The Peeper is the most abundant of Michigan’s singing frogs, so your chances are pretty good of seeing one.
Find a good round log or dry spot of ground next to a swamp. And here’s the challenge—see how long you can sit still and be quiet. With patience, you have a good chance of spotting more than one Peeper, and other members of the amphibian family.
Do you know your peeps?
For an audio quiz visit the USGS at
For an audio quiz visit
the USGS at
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