The moment I mark Spring out here in WhitesCreek gorge is that magical moment when I hear toad song for the first time. That would be March 7th, this year. Last Thursday.
I have marveled at the fact that this gnarly little creature has such a beautiful voice. The musical competitions in vernal pools scattered about the hillside is fierce. There will be relative silence as the songsters gather their energy. Then, One little beastie stakes out his pitch in a high trill and the battle is on. The bufo choir rails its warty opera into the night. it does make me think of those huge obese tenors singing a touching love song, their hideous nature hidden inside the radio tuner mush as the forested hillside hides old toad. His lover willl find him in the dark by virtue of his song, longer and louder than his rivals. Astonishingly, they sing in harmony!
Chicks dig it! They come from near and far to get close to the boys in the pond.
I've sat and watched a toad orgy. Kinky? Well not, actually. It's kinda like cage match in a low rent wrestling arena. They all fight each other and frankly I can't tell why someone wins or loses. The females seem to be lured into the puddle by several males all singing their little bladders out and as gather a crowd, someone gives the go signal and the mudwrestling begins. It's like the females present themselves to be raped or something, but it must all work out because by morning there will be curly gelatinaous strings of eggs all over the puddle. From my perch higer up on the bank, I usually watch through binoculars until the scene gets repetitive and I continue on my walk. I know the real fun is probably happening later on in the night.
Last night I woke up several times and listened to the halleluyah chorus.
Turn your sound up and give it a listen. there are only two of them on this recording. Imagine hundreds.
That comes from this.
So you see, ugly ducklings got nothing on Bufo Americanus. We're beautiful here.
And how about cutting everything off, sit in the yard just at dusk, and listen a bit this spring.
Saturday reading assignment:
No nation in history has survived the collapse of its Middle Class. In the midst of this disaster in America, we have to ask how do we stop it?
Paul Krugman on "How to Save the MIddle class"