Posted by: highmountainmuse | April 23, 2009

Singing of the frogs


The East Pond on the first day the frogs sang this year.

The East Pond on the first day the frogs sang this year.


My volunteer duty calls!  Finally…

The frogs sang.


Boreal Chorus Frogs.  I introduced them to you back a couple weeks ago in another post.  That’s right: frogs.  Up here in the high country. Who would have guessed? And in hopes someone else might be as amazed by this phenomenon as I am by this song found so far up here in high mountains, I “volunteered” for FrogwatchUSA where I’ve been recording my observations. I figured if I didn’t, no one might ever know they were here. No one we know had heard them here before. By the time the two-leggeds usually arrive on the mountain, they have settled down for the season. When I first heard them a couple years ago, I don’t even think Bob believed me at first.  (She’s hearing what???) 


You’re not impressed? Not intrigued? Oh, I suppose it’s no big deal. Frogs may be everywhere, for all I know. But to hear their song up here, in the harshest of early spring weathers, when the ponds they call “home” have only lost their ice and slush days ago, snow still lines the banks, and morning temperatures range between 10 and 25 … I am amazed.


I’ve been checking both ponds (not so creatively I named them The East Pond and The West Pond) regularly, knowing it would be any day now. Two days ago, I checked the West Pond.  One solitary voice, as slush still covered most of the pond. And this East Pond was utterly silent. But still a little sign of mud and open waters to give me hope. Guess that’s all it takes. I hiked up there yesterday in anticipation of the magical song.


Yes, it was there in the air. Singing, just a few voices clear in the crisp spring chilly afternoon around this snow lined secret pond. They have made it through another winter.  How? It was 22 degrees this morning, and the ice and slush on the pond only opened up days ago.  And there they are, clearing their throats and calling out in their simple, pure harmony! And by next week, we will hear a full blown orchestra that sends its voice nearly ¼ mile away in the wind… I will bring the boys up to hear it.  We will sit silently on the cold and bare hillside, and marvel at these tiny wonders. We will listen to them calling out, their voices carrying across the mountain, big and bright and full of life. And I know, we will simply smile… What could be better?


This is big news from the High Mountain! For anyone who’d like to see, or rather, listen to our frogs, you can click here to be re-directed to the video link.



  1. Thanks Gin, for the opportunity to actually listen to the frogs, and see that beautiful country (even if it does still look like winter)! I can imagine how nice that is for you – getting that true sign of spring!


  2. Oh! I’ve been wondering about your frogs. I listened to the YouTube video and they do indeed sing beautifully. I also heard a ?fly and birds! Sounds like that mountain of yours is definitely telling old man winter good-bye!

    Have you seen the frogs? What do they look like? How big are the adults?

  3. I was about to start typing and instead read the first comment, and noticed it was from my mother! 🙂 I had even planned to type something similar!
    I think it is all quite exciting!
    I can’t imagine how wonderful it is for you to see those signs of spring! I love when things start to bloom and turn green. Winter always feels so long, even out here. I’m sure it feels much longer up high!

    Have a great day!

  4. Great minds think alike – you and your mom!

  5. Karen, I admit I’ve never seen them. I do not want disturb them (or Mr. & Mrs. Mallard that nest near them every year…), and the one time I did try to get close, they completely hushed. I have had to ID them on their sound alone, and from that see pictures.

  6. Gin,

    Just in from a day at our Arboretum and have read your post. Last year, while high on a mountain stream (here not named) in your area, I ran into a Federal biologist who had heard of this frog in that area, and was going up to observe some beaver ponds really high. If it is the same frog, he said they are susceptible to a certain disease that is carried on our shoes (in the dirt or something) and it can wipe them out of a pond or lake. He advised not to walk in it at all. I didn’t then, and hopefully, won’t in the future. Thought you would find this information useful.


  7. Hi there! I first came across your website after getting my Creede magazine. We have a place up at Black Mountain and I love checking in on things up in the mountains. I love the way you write and am enthralled by your lifestyle!!! Thanks for sharing! Keep writing and we’ll keep reading!


  8. Thank you, Shannan – I’m really glad to be able to share this. Aren’t we all so lucky to have such a beautiful place, to visit or to live?

  9. Thanks for sharing, Al. Well, I suppose all the better that no one else (including the Feds) know of these ponds!

  10. Gin – loved hearing the frogs. there was a recent article about a program to breed I think it was Boeral Toads at the Federal Alamosa wetlands facility. Seems they are fast disappearing in CO ponds. Hope your guys are survivors.

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