If you've noticed the sounds of frogs in your neighborhood this spring, consider yourself lucky.
Frogs are a vital part of the wildlife community here in the Mid-South and their presence speaks to the overall health of our environment. I remember as a kid being fascinated with frogs, often catching them just to peer into their iridescent eyes. What's also interesting is to realize how each frog species has it's own unique call, much like song birds. To walk into a swamp and hear their multiple calls is nothing short of amazing.
If you want to learn more about these colorful amphibians, plan to bring your family on the Wolf River Conservancy's Frog Chorus Walk. The 2015 walk takes place Saturday, May 30th, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The walk goes through a beautiful bald sypress-water tupelo swamp at Ghost River State Natural Area in La Grange, Tennessee.
WRC Education Director Cathy Justis leads the tour and brings her expertise in identifying frogs and other wildlife that call this swamp home. When I attended last year, we counted at least eight different frog species, and spotted several. Here's a bit from my report:
"The further we edge into the swamp, the more varied the frog chorus becomes. I hear a lower "ghomp, ghomp," a sound akin to a banjo string being plucked; that's the green frog. Another sounds like the 'baaa' of a sheep; this is the Eastern Narrow-mouthed toad, I learn. Behind that, cricket frogs click-click, like two pebbles being struck together. And then there are bullfrogs and peepers and treefrogs and before long, the air is alive with so much trilling that frog voices nearly drown out our own."
It's not often that the sound of nature grabs your attention. That's what makes this walk special. Be sure to bring a flashlight and binoculars for viewing. To learn more, go to the WRC's website.