Tarrytown, NY ~ March 21-22, 2012

    In the woods near where I live is a swamp that is home to a spectacular chorus of spring peepers. I visited the swamp in March 2012 to make some audio recordings which can be found here and here. I apologize for the less than stellar quality. I wore the microphone against my jacket so I could use my body to block noise coming from the very-close-by Thruway and there are some unintended rustling sounds. I made the second tape with every effort to reduce that rustling and I did not touch the microphone at all, but even still the slightest movements were picked up. A recording produced with the microphone left unguarded near the ground picked up more noise from the highway and less of the peeps. I would have preferred a tape with no highway noise of course, but after a while I found those sounds to be interesting too.

    I can make out three distinct sounds from the peepers: the bright peep sound, a rapid  buzzer-like noise of high and low pitches, and an irregular guttural; squibbling noise.

    I was also able to photograph some of the suspect noise makers, as seen here. Be forewarned of a slightly gross photograph towards the end.

UPDATE MAY 2014: I have since received email that these are Common American Toads, not Spring Peepers.

I found this guy in the middle of the road. I went in for some close-up photos under the glare of the streetlights.

From this angle I began to think that something was wrong with this scene.

I used my flashlight to illuminate this photograph. I saw this mess and I began to think the frog was dead. 
He didn't move or flinch or anything like the other frogs did. 

There is all sorts of nasty weird stuff going on in this picture. There is the purple caviar-like mess, a red liquid that could be blood, some black thing (a bug?) sticking out of the frogs mouth, and a feather seed-like white fan stuck on the outside of the frog's mouth. I would like to know exactly what is going on here. 

The swamp where the frogs live.


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