The illustration above is from my collection, the illustrator is Adrana Saviozzi from the book Somebody Saw, 1962.
I still remember those days as a child, when younger, accompanied by my two older brothers, but then later on when I was older, exploring on my own. It was all so magical. I guess I've really never experienced it in any other way since. I often wonder if my time entertaining myself when younger created the introvert I am today, or was I just comfortable being on my own because I was an introvert? I guess, I'll never really know the answer to that question!
Anyway... back to the frogs... You may remember that last year I was very upset because there were no frogs around our lake. I wrote about it here. In past years we would see the small tree frogs around the garden and hear them at night singing. It was a crazy cacophony of sound that I loved to listen to at night while drifting off to sleep. Some people don't care for the sound, but those are the loud bull frogs that most people complain about, our tree frogs have a most amazing lyrical, musical sound.
Of course I couldn't write about frogs without thinking of some books I have that are delightfully illustrated with frogs dancing, prancing, singing etc.
This poem is in the vintage set of Best in Children's Books by Doubleday. 1960 Volume 30 - A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go (illustrated by Adrienne Adams) - available in my shop here. The following two images are from the same book. Illustrations are by Adrienne Adams.
I was so happy the other night when I heard the frogs start to sing. The first night I heard just one and now several days later I'm hearing maybe four or five different frog voices. Not nearly as many as there used to be, but I'm hoping that if it's a good year, there will be a bunch of tadpoles in our lake that will grow up to be wonderful singing frogs!
So you may be wondering, how do frogs survive the winter? Well first of all I did some reading and found out that they are called ectotherms. The body temperature of ectotherms follows their environment, for example if it is cold outside, their body temperature falls. They must bask in the sun to get warm and cool off in the shade, or under the water. Amphibians, reptiles and insects are ectotherms.
To live through the winter Spring Peepers, Green/Gray frogs and others bury themselves in the mud (about an inch deep) around a wetland, such as a lake or stream. They have special components in their body that actually act as antifreeze. Their body converts glycogen into glucose, which keeps the frog alive while it's frozen solid. When the ground becomes warm again in spring, the frogs thaw-out and remain active until winter comes around again! That's why at first I heard just one frog and then as the days went by more and more, because the frogs were just 'waking' up from their hibernation.
So I can happily say that Spring is truly here! I hope our little frogs make a comeback and return to become a thriving community again. It's a very nice turn of events and so fitting as it is Earth Day this Friday on April 22nd. It's nice to see that with all the obstacles they face, our little frogs are a win for nature.
So, I've got to run, much like the frog above... and I'll be running 'round to your blogs soon, Heigh Ho!
Hope you are enjoying some warmer Spring weather wherever you are!
~~~ Diane ~~~