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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Chorus of Spring

A spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) on a lily (Lilium)

All winter spring peepers (small tree frogs) have been hibernating under logs, leaves, and under shallow soil. Because frogs are cold blooded their body temperature drops below freezing in winter. When the winter world freezes, about 65% of frog's body also freezes. It stays alive by producing glucose which acts like anti-freeze and keeps their vital organs from freezing solid. Half frozen their heartbeat slows and they only occasionally draw a breath. This week we heard the first spring peepers of the season. They are thawing out and beginning to call. Their chorus is loud and very important to the matting process because females will choose their mate by the quality of his call. Now that the peeper are singing, spring must be near!

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