|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!