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Posts Tagged ‘Hyla crucifer’

Many years ago, when I just a little tyke, my father the Biologist thought it would be pretty cool if he taught me the scientific names of the local creatures. Dad didn’t just rattle off the names, though, and expect me to remember them. He taught me by telling stories about them, slipping in the names as if he just made them up himself. The Hyla crucifer was one of my favorites, both because I liked the sound of the name rolling off my tongue and because I loved frogs. I would see the Hyla crucifers, otherwise known as tree frogs or spring peepers on the trees around our cabin, but when late afternoon and evening came, the chorus of peeping would begin and so would the stories as we wound down from our busy day. The noise they make is actually the mating call of the male of the species, and here in the north, it is a sound that makes us all smile, because when we hear it, we know that it is one of the first signs of spring. For some reason, frogologists or taxonomists or whatever you call those smarty-pants scientists who study amphibians, changed the name/genus of the Hyla crucifer to the Pseudacris crucifer. I tried to find out why, but it was way, way, WAY above my head, and I guess it really doesn’t matter anyway because nobody told those stories like my dad did. What does matter is that the long winter is finally over. Out behind the chicken coop and through the trees, there is a small swamp on our property. During the day, the ducks splash and quack and can be noisy enough, but each evening, about the time I close up the coop for the night, that swamp becomes alive with the chorus of the peepers. This year, there are so many that the sound is almost deafening, but it really is music to my ears. It shows me that all is right in my own environment, which is about the only thing that I can control to some degree in a great big world that seems to be getting crazier by the day. Those peepers can drown out political promises, rantings and ravings, and despite the fact that they are cacophonous, can bring a peacefulness that soothes the soul. Welcome, spring. I thought you’d never get here.

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