Pacific chorus frog

Pacific chorus frog

With the arrival of wet weather, the tiny Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris sierra, or Sierran treefrog; formerly Pacific tree frog) suddenly burst out into full serenade. While recently riding my bike home along the the Joe Rodota Trail, the frogs were so numerous and so loud that they drowned out the rush of passing cars on the adjacent CA Highway 12. I’ve often enjoyed hearing the frogs on my ride home, but there seemed to be may more out than any other time I can recall. In fact, I’ve only heard so many at once a few times since leaving my boyhood home. There, a seasonal wetlands, which we called The Swamp, snaked through the low areas of our and our neighbor’s apple orchards. The chorus frogs lay their eggs in a small pond formed many years ago when a farm tractor or other vehicle apparently bogged down (badly!) in the wet area. During the early spring, the frogs were deafening when we went outside and I loved to look for their eggs, which were much easier to find than the frogs themselves.

With the decline in amphibians, it’s probably not surprising that I would hear only a few frogs on my commute. Nonetheless, when the conditions are just right, there are a heck of lot of frogs in the adjacent puddles, vernal pools and swales, all trying to attract mates.  They often fall quiet as I approach and I almost never see them, but I find their song a joy, a marvel and a comfort.

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