“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Singing Frogs

Last post I spoke of dancing bunnies and this week it's all about singing frogs.  I am fascinated by nature and have always had a curiosity about the creatures I encounter in the garden. Maybe this comes from growing up as the only girl on a somewhat secluded farm. My playground was 600 acres of woodland, prairie, deep sand filled ravines and a creek that ran through the middle of the property. There wasn't much else to do other than read and explore!




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 ~~~



16 comments:

  1. Such a delightful post! I love everything here, the words, the images and the music. Thanks so much for brightening my day.

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  2. When I think of singing frogs, I think of that old Warner Brothers cartoon where the frog sings "Hello my baby, Hello my honey, Hello my ragtime gal."

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  3. This sounds like a delightful book Diane. Wow, you had much area growing up to run around and play and wander. So glad you heard the frogs again around your neck of the woods. I don't really hear them here where I live, but I do hear a mourning dove coooooing every day. It's a soothing bird call.

    Enjoy the sweet spring days.

    ~Sheri

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    1. To Debra... Yes, I remember that cartoon... the frog wouldn't sing in public, it clammed up in front of everyone but the owner! Of course, the owner was only after the money he thought he could make off of a singing frog!

      To Sheri... Well it was as farm, fraught with all sorts of dangers. My mother always worried about us, somehow we survived! I love the sound of the mourning dove, haven't heard one yet this spring.

      Thank you both for stopping in!

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  4. What a gorgeous book! I love your shop, too ♥

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    1. Thank you Winter Moon! Just visited your shop on Etsy, love your collection of books there! Thanks for following my blog!

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  5. Hi kindred! Yay, what an awesome post, loved it!So synchronistic, as I just dreamt about frogs a few nights back..pretty cool to read more here..I too love the sound of singing frogs, so relaxing! I always enjoy visiting your world! Wonderful book!
    Hugs and wishing you a magical Spring!
    Victoria

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  6. I can't imagine growing up on all those acres, fantastic! Enjoyed your froggie post. :)

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  7. Hi Diane, my upbringing was incredibly similar to yours although the farm was smaller – my memory tells me it was 375 acres – but I could be wrong about that. My playground was the woods, fields, chalk pits (amazing places to find wild flowers), and a smallish pond where I watched frogspawn develop into tadpoles before becoming frogs. It was all fascinating to me, and I rather wish I could go back and do it again. As for the introvert question, I’ve never been able to answer it either – but I always did and still do like my own company. My brother is 12 years older than me and my sister 6 years older, so they were already onto to new things, by the time I was watching the tadpoles.
    I really enjoyed this post; it took me back 50+ years to when I roamed the fields I was usually on my own but never lonely.
    I’m so pleased your frogs are back – I hope the four or five will soon turn into many more! xx

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    1. Isn't if funny we live so far apart but are so similar in many ways! Oh my kindred farm girl, we had a mixed farm with animals and crops. My dad raised cattle, pigs and chickens. At one time we also had a horse and some rabbits. Much of the acreage was for the crops to feed the animals and some to sell so some areas were not really accessible for wandering! One of my favorite areas was a mulberry grove which was planted to lure the birds away from the fruit trees. There was an old huge cast iron cauldron left discarded by my ancestors... my brothers of course told me it was a witches cauldron and when I was little I believed them! The spooky woods didn't scare me off though and I spent lots of time there just observing and dreaming...

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    2. I could almost have written that Diane, how very strange to think we did so many of the same things. Your brothers were very mean re the cauldron, but it is also funny and just the kind of thing brothers do. My brother is twelve years older than me and my sister six, so I tended to roam the farm on my own. There was an old Romany Caravan in one of the fields left from the days when itinerant workers used to visit the farm. I spent half my childhood playing in and around that caravan. There were all the usual crops like corn, winter barley and so on and also an apple and a pear orchard. I loved packing the fruit ready to be sent to market. There were also two horses that we were allowed to ride, cattle and chickens but no pigs. I loved the woods and spent hours just looking for wild flowers and birds, plus the occasional fox or badger. My dad managed the farm for a ‘gentleman’ farmer who spent most of his time in London. They were some of the happiest days of my life, and I miss them still...

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    3. Loved reading your comments, I remember you mentioned the caravan before, we had a tiny house on the property for much the same use and it also became a play house for a short time.... I also miss country life... sadly, the farm is no longer in our family after over 100 years when my Scottish ancestors came over... anyway it has drastically changed and would be almost unrecognizable to me now... funny, when I was there I couldn't wait to get away...

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  8. Dear Diane it is so nice to visit you. Your dancing frogs made me smile. I loved the illustrations in this vintage book. Perfectly fits your post. Adrienne Adams died in 2002. Looked her up on the internet. Enjoyed reading about her. Always learn something when I visit you. Never knew how the frogs survived the winter. Just amazing. Thank you friend for all you shared. Hugs!

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  9. So cute! You share the most adorable things.

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  10. Diane, what a wonderful post! I am so happy your frogs are back! Yeh!!! Thank you for sharing how they last through the winter time! That was so interesting! Big Hugs!

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Thank you for leaving a comment! I do read them all and will try to respond if I'm able. Please know that all comments are appreciated, I love to hear your thoughts on my posts! ~ Diane