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Foreplay for frogs

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There is nothing quite like rain on a tin roof. Even a drizzle is a symphony of harmonious sound. This is but one of the reasons I love to be in the barn. When it really rains, it is difficult to even have a conversation in the barn, which is wonderful and usually results in yelling and giggling.

Last Thursday when the sun set, I thought perhaps the rain was starting up, but upon listening carefully, I realized what I was hearing was a different sound entirely, although equally all-consuming. This noise was reaching downpour proportions, and although more cricket-like in tone, crickets are not nearly as audibly invasive as driving rain on tin and this noise.

Upon walking outside, I realized the ruckus was coming from the newly re-formed pond, where the male frogs had gathered for the wet season. They were all advertising for a mate more loudly than the next guy and the sound was nothing short of completely “freaking deafening,” as one biologist later told me of the mating-calling frogs she studied. I know I have heard the frogs before, but I have never heard anything like this.

I grabbed my trusty cell phone and took a video. Although the moon was lovely on that particular night, my cell phone only visually recorded the darkness, but the sound was fantastic. Listen.

A quick bit of research on SFBayWildlife.info reported that each mating season, frogs return to the place of their birth. This season, it appears they all made it back for the reunion. According to SFBayWildlife, the males croak for several days in a “loud voice” to claim their territory and attract a mate. This was certainly true again tonight.

The male frogs and I are expecting the females any day now, which are then expected to lay between 400-700 eggs after hooking up with their male of choice.

I was looking forward to the cattle drinking from the pond, meaning I would no longer need to fastidiously fill their troughs, but for the sake of all those frog families, I think the cattle troughs will be filled for months to come.

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