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'Tis the season of the frog

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If you pay attention to what you see and hear when outside and equate it to the time of year, you have just practiced the science of phenology: the study of when events happen with given species of plants or animals. It could be when you observe the first turkey vulture overhead in the spring or when you hear the first katydid in the late summer. Things happen within a certain time threshold, perhaps influenced by climate variations from year to year.

When it comes to frogs and toads, we usually hear them before we see them. The spring peepers and wood frogs have already sung their songs earlier this spring; they told us that the ice was mostly gone from the vernal ponds and wetlands used as breeding sites. The American toad’s arrival in May said that the water was starting to warm up a bit. Finally, when the green frogs and bullfrogs started to sing, that was an indication that school was not too far from letting out for the summer and that the water was probably warm enough to swim in.

Enjoy these images of some, but not all of the frogs and toads of the area. Enjoy these animals in the wild, and the warm weather of spring and summer that brings these creatures out to sing and tell us that winter is but a memory (for a while, at least). Summer is here.

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