Ribbits Galore

Pacific Chorus Frog

Pacific Chorus Frog

Every spring along the Pacific Coast the Pacific Chorus Frogs start up their mating ritual and you would not believe the racket!  There’s a small pond on my neighbor’s property, as the crow flies it’s about a mile away.  There must be a million trillion frogs in that pond, for the crazy wave of reverberating ribbits we hear every single night.

 

This time of year is their breeding season, and we’re at the peak of it now.  It started up in February and will probably continue the rest of this month.  Every year is different, depending on the weather.  We’re lucky in this pocket of California to not have the invasive bullfrog, so the din from this pond is pure chorus.   One Sunday a few weeks ago my partner and I walked down to the pond with our 8 year old neighbor friend.  With the nightly ruckus, we hoped to see some frogs…and we were not disappointed.

 

In 15 minutes we saw as many frogs.  They’re only about 2 inches long, which makes the cacophony that much more amazing.  We had to be careful not to step on any, but that’s easy because they jump as soon as you get near.  The closer we got to the shoreline, the more abundant they became.  We were quite a sight gleefully squawking with each new frog.

 

Pacific Chorus Frog

Pacific Chorus Frog

Also called Pacific Tree Frog, species individuals are not identical.  We saw four or five different colors that day.  They vary in color and size depending on their environment.  The line through the eye is their distinguishing factor.  The males sing at night, luring in the females with their serenade.  The female makes her choice based on how often the male ribbits (which actually sounds like “kreeck-eeck”).  This explains everything:  those little guys are singin’ their hearts out for the next generation.  Mating occurs at the water’s edge, where eggs will develop into tadpoles.

 

At night I open the windows and brush my teeth to this sound, pleasantly lulled by this annual event.  I live out in the boonies and have numerous techno challenges, like no cell phone access.  But hearing these frogs every night, the glorious announcement of spring, it calms my soul on a level far deeper than a cell phone could ever reach.

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

14 thoughts on “Ribbits Galore

  1. Ya gotta luv the frogs. We are about 3 or 4 weeks from the serenade here. Cells phones are over rated– you can have mine

  2. Interesting species,dear Jet ! Love how it adjusts and camouflages itself to the enviroment and although it’s the same,it looks so different.Pleasantly presented,I can almost hear the serenade …
    Warm wishes to you and yours ,Doda 🙂 xxx

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