Spring Fling Frogs

The Sound of Spring

An Unexpected Experience

Walking onto the trail beside the river, I was expecting simply to enjoy the sun on my face and a soft breeze on a warmer-than-average early spring day. My experience was so much more. It was a first for me, and it made me question my worldly notion of myself.

Not far from the trailhead, I began to hear chirping from the other side of the river. I knew immediately that the frogs were active in one of the vernal pools (seasonal pools of water) above the river. I was determined to hike the full loop of the trail to investigate.

Less than a hundred feet further, around the bend, I heard the familiar chatter again, this time from my side of the river. And not far from there, the sound enveloped me, every pool rippling with activity. One pool in particular drew me closer.

Before Tadpoles

Sure, I know where tadpoles come from; they poof into existence in puddles during spring. Perhaps someone should have had ‘the talk’ with me before I learned the truth on the trail at this ripe age.

The truth—new wood frogs arrive in this world through the collaboration of two consenting (compelled) adult wood frogs. The female deposits her eggs in the water, and the most acrobatic fella wins when it comes to fertilizing them.
(Learn more from the NPS and other Resources below.)

The contest for fatherhood is intense. Had I heard such a tale on the street, I wouldn’t have believed it. I couldn’t count the heads because the competition was layers deep. So, I just watched in wonder at the frenzy of frog-making before me. I’m pretty sure I blushed.

The Fruits

The saying goes, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” Whoever said this first must have been referring to the wood frog. Not only did these small creatures endure freezing (literally) during the winter, they thawed out with enough energy to spring into action.

During winter hibernation, the wood frog is able to freeze nearly half of its body. Ice crystals form within its skin, stopping its heartbeat, breathing and blood flow. 
(Learn more from the Chesapeake Bay Program and other Resources below.)

The fruits of this spring revival and impulsive procreation were evident along the shore of the pool. Thousands upon thousands of frog eggs floated together in clusters, anchored by vegetation. Each gel egg sac encased a single black dot that will, nature willing, become a wiggly tadpole, and then a leaping frog. Remarkable.

I hope you’ll join me in the video below to experience this very special springtime outdoor adventure. And subscribe to the Ecopsyched! YouTube channel (and hit the notifications bell) to never miss an adventure!

Your Favorite?

This experience ranks close to the top on my list of favorite springtime experiences. What’s your favorite sign of spring. Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you for joining me on this and future Ecopsyched! adventures. I hope they inspire you to explore outdoors and get creative.

-Lisa B

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Resources

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Spring Fling Frogs: Copyright © Lisa Barry 2021.

Music:
Any Thing You Can Dream by The Whole Other
Butterflies In Love by Sir Cubworth
Day from the Desert by Trevor Garrod

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4 comments on “Spring Fling Frogs

  1. Rose says:

    You crack me up! That was so entertaining! Now I need to go watch the video!
    Spring has sprung here in CT, too. I heard the spring peepers in the pond behind the house over the last few nights, saw my first butterfly of the season (at least, I think it was a butterfly rather than a large moth) and lastly, today our crocuses finally blossomed! I’ve seen them painted across all of my neighbors’ yards for over a week now, but ours refused to pop, til today! It’s really Spring!

    Cheers!

    1. Lisa B says:

      Hi, Rose!

      I had tons of fun with this outdoor adventure (and blog post). I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I’m jealous you’ve already seen your first butterfly (or moth…both special). I haven’t seen one yet, but I was very happy to see the bees make their first appearance here today (80 degrees F!). The carpenter bees are already eyeing our wood front porch, but I don’t mind them as much as I should. I like to sit with them. They’re clumsy (thick skulls). 😉

      And yes, crocuses are our first happy hints of spring here. They always seem to arrive dangerously early and come through the last chills just fine.

      Thanks for sharing your first hints of spring. It sounds like life is blossoming in your backyard oasis!

      -Lisa B

  2. Ron says:

    Lisa B.,

    Your frog video is super — and so uplifting! It provides a cheerful break from the human discomfort and tragedy that are demanding so much of our attention these days. Thanks for capturing, and providing us, with such a splendid display of what nature can offer when we need it most.

    Cheers,

    Ron

    1. Lisa B says:

      Hi, Ron!
      I love that you love these frogs too. I agree that they’re a happy reminder of what matters the most – the wellbeing of the planet for all its creatures, including us. 🙂
      See you for the next outdoor adventure this Friday!
      -Lisa B

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