Wednesday, April 1, 2015


We arrived home from our Florida Trip at 7:30 on Tuesday March 31.  The "Black Knight" performed flawlessly and delivered us to Gretna without any problems.  The Black Knight?  That is my black Honda Element---a great car.

Wednesday morning, April 1st we awakened to a temperature of 29 degrees---a far cry from the 80's we had been experiencing in Naples.  There are still snow piles here and it looks like winter.  No sign of Spring until the  sun came  up and then it started.
 The Wood Frogs are singing.  It actually sounds more like barking and is quite loud.  We have 5 water areas and all of them have been captured by the wood frogs for their annual Spring mating ritual.  They are welcome on all but the swimming pool cover, where we will have to move their egg masses to a safer place or the  thousands of tadpoles will not survive.

I first encountered these fascinating amphibians when we moved here in the 1990's.  They hibernate during the cold of winter, but with the first warm days of March they suddenly appear in the open water and begin to "sing".  I have seen them do this when there are still large pieces of ice in  the water.   The temperature remains at 32 degrees until the ice melts, so I do not know how they are able to stir up the energy to be jumping all over the place like they do.  They are cold-blooded, but something about their makeup allows them to function at very cold temperatures.

When we were in Alaska in 2003  we stayed at a bed and breakfast owned  by Judy Cooper.  She was a musher, had lots of dogs and lived on  a large piece of land.  When i asked here about the wildlife in the area, she mentioned that she had a vernal pool in her woods and every year she had Wood Frogs appear and mate just as they do in PA.  Now this is near Fairbanks in Central Alaska  and the ground is permafrost, so somehow these little guys can survive being frozen, wake up and mate every year.  No other reptile or amphibian can survive that far north, only Wood Frogs.

So we  are again enjoying the signs of Spring.  Only it is not flowers blooming or birds singing, it is the "barking " of the Wood Frogs who must have "ice water in their veins" to be up and about when it is this cold.