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Courtesy photo by Joanne Fournier of Milford. A peeper frog found during a tour of vernal pools in Milford. That's a dead leaf behind it ... no wonder I never seen them.
Monday, May 5, 2014

Peepers are deafening, but spotting one is almost impossible

My Telegraph column today concerns a "citizen science" project to spot and count reptiles and amphibians around New Hampshire. You can read it here.

The other night I had to get up and close the bedroom window because the spring peepers were keeping me awake. The lust-filled cries of a zillion male frogs seeking mates was so piercing that at first I thought my wife had bought a weird new type of smoke alarm.

Michael Marchand is unsympathetic.As a state wildlife biologist tasked in part with keeping track of the state’s “herps,” or amphibians and reptiles, he wishes more species were that vocal. “Compared to birds, where you can confirm an animal’s presence without ever seeing it,” he sighed. “You can’t do that with salamanders, turtles, frogs.”

Later in the column I lament the fact that I've never actually SEEN a peeper. But voila - by 8 a.m. Suzanne Fournier of Milford sent me a couple pictures she took during a tour of vernal pools in that town. That's a rumpled leaf next to the frog, for scale. Note the X on its back.