Amphibian Songs

The rain is pouring down and the light has gone. The night is deepening, the wind rustles the trees. Out of the dark comes a single song. The symphony is starting! Then, another song begins to accent the first. A different pitch and rhythm creates a harmony that didn’t exist with only one voice.

Not a moment later, another voice joins in. As I listen, tucked away in my cozy bed, I wonder “Are there three or four? Could there be five?” For five or six minutes, the singing continues each voice providing more complexity to the spontaneous rain song.

Then abrupt silence. The concert is over. For now. The rain has lessened, too. I snuggle under the blankets, ready to fall asleep. I snooze for a time, feeling safe and warm. “But, wait, what’s that sound?” Another song begins, one single voice, harmonized quickly by the surrounding accompaniment as the sound of increasing rainfall acts as background music.

You may wonder, “Where does she live? Is she in the countryside or next to open space?” No, none of those. Simply in the suburban throws of the San Francisco Bay Area. Our unique mix, though, of older neighborhoods with half acre plots, not far from the creek that runs behind the houses two blocks away provides an environment rich with life.

The naturalization of our garden over twenty years has resulted in more and more types of life coming to live with us. Digging our pond a few years back, gave year round water to the birds, bees, raccoons, skunks and possums. Now, with a large pool for winter water catchment, the amphibians are joining us, too!

Many of our wild neighbors aren’t visible most of the time. In fact, the amphibians have been hardest to see. They are quite tiny and move quickly, so a glimpse is all we get! We’re not even sure what to call them. Are they frogs or toads? We think they may be California Treefrogs, but who knows…

We’ll just keep enjoying the sights and sounds of our wild neighbors when we they grace us with their presence.

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