Zen Frogscape

habitat photo

The night before leaving on a weeklong journey, I drove to a nearby wildlife refuge to see what the frogs and toads were up to, knowing full well that changes were in the making and the amphibian soundscape would likely be quite different upon my return. I really didn’t plan on doing any recording. I just wanted to pay my respects to nature before leaving town. Little did I anticipate the wonderful mix of sound I would stumble upon …

Gentle Peepers & Wood Thrush

Ladyslipper Pond

Last night I slept under the stars in the forest next to Ladyslipper Pond. At dawn I recorded the calls of Spring Peepers set against the gentle gurgling of water. And then I went into the forest and recorded a Wood Thrush, singing as an intermittent breeze excited the forest canopy. I am so grateful that I spent the night under the stars and returned home with these pleasant soundscapes, living mementos of my sojourn in the woods …

Toads at Dawn

Toads at Dawn habitat

Cool weather over the last two weeks has put a damper on the breeding activities of American Toads. I’ve been hard-pressed to get a good recording of their trilling, or rather “dreaming” (see Thoreau quote below). But last week I finally had success when I came upon a small cluster of toads sounding off at the break of dawn against a pleasant backdrop of springtime bird songs …

Turtle Song?

Snapping Turtle © Lang Elliott

Have you ever heard a Snapping Turtle sing? No? Well, then listen to this recording … you’re not going to believe your ears!

Frog Pond Fun

Spring Peeper

I’ve just received a new toy … a fairly high-end camcorder that shoots in ultra high definition (4K) and is loaded with bells-and-whistles that will help me get splendid cinematic footage. Just for fun, I hauled it out to our frog pond last night and looked for some test subjects …

Wood Frog Cacklefest

Wood Frog Cacklefest - featured image © Lang Elliott

Last night was a great night for Wood Frogs, here in upstate New York. The temperature reached nearly 60F during the day and a thunderstorm passed through in the evening. After dark, I drove to one of my favorite locations and hiked through the forest to a small woodland pool. There I found males calling, participating in their yearly cacklefest, with pairs in amplexus and plenty of egg masses scattered about in the shallows.

Salamander Migration Extraordinaire

Spotted Salamander Portrait © Lang Elliott

It was a “perfect storm”. An early March warm spell. The daytime temperature rose into the low 60s (Fahrenheit) and then it rained all afternoon. This is the magic formula that stirs the mole salamanders into action. Out of the earth they climb and then trek toward their breeding sites … vernal pools, small ponds, and temporary streams. They are charged with energy and excited with anticipation. For on this single night, they will mate with vigor, in a frenzy of concentrated activity not only worthy of our attention, but worthy of our deepest reverence and praise.

Dream of Spring

Beaver Pond

As temperatures plummet here in upstate New York (currently 14F and heading for below zero this weekend), I cannot help but dream of spring. Yesterday I stumbled upon a dawn chorus from May 31 in 2013, recorded at a beaver pond not far from where I live. Somehow it had escaped my notice. But when I listened to it, I was struck by its inherent beauty, by the sweetly balanced mix of frog and bird sounds as dawn unfolds …

American Toad Mating Frenzy

American Toad - Mating Frenzy featured image © Lang Elliott

Warm spring weather has lured the American Toads into their breeding ponds and pools. Males grab at anything that moves and often clump together in a mass around single females. Amplexus pairs sink to the bottom, and females begin laying their long strings of eggs. What an amazing spring mating ritual!

Pickerel Frog Snoring

Pickerel Frog Snoring - featured image

Enjoy this brief video of a snoring Pickerel Frog, that I made way back in 2009 when I first started dabbling in nature videography. Not bad, considering …

Pin It on Pinterest