Duration: 62 minutes 00 seconds, Size: 85.1 MB.
Winter is over and spring is in the air. In Spring Nocturne, we are treated to a surround-sound panoramic symphony of distant spring peepers, one of the first among many vernal ensembles to announce the season’s arrival.
The air is flowing with hazy white mist, the calm quiet midnight atmosphere vibrates with the deep spacious stillness of their hypnotic lullaby, and we hear the sweet accompaniment of the trilling of toads and chorus frogs that join in every now and then (whose vocals sound similar to running a finger along the teeth of a comb).
They are collectively awakened by the thawing of the earth as they slumber in their winter beds underneath a thick insulating layer of leaves and soil, and for 62 minutes we are pampered with the regal ambience of their melancholic crooning.
Usually they will begin to stir and peep during the warmer and rainy nights of spring, and even when there are still a few traces of snow and ice sitting on the edges of their ponds, they are not at all deterred — they just slip themselves under the ice and either drift about freely or hang onto a straying leaf or stick or other floating debris.
By the middle of April the male peepers will stake out their positions around the periphery of these ponds and puddles as they sing their little hearts out to entice the female peepers. It may take a few nights of intense singing, but in due time these considerably selective females will become attracted to certain males. The male peepers with tiptop voices draw in the most females — although with thousands of them singing all at once, it is difficult to single out just that one perfect voice.
Early mating this time of spring allows their newborn tadpoles to mature before the sweltering heat of summer starts to dry up their puddles and ponds. However, the only problem with doing this is that they may encounter a deviating “late” spring freeze. Once the youngsters are mature, they will spread out over the land to feast upon insects at night, and rest during the warmth of the day. Sexual maturity won’t be reached until they are about 3 to 4 years of age.
As long as the weather conditions are warm and/or humid, the harmonious tumult of peeps and whistles carries on uninterrupted. If the weather becomes cool, the singing takes a temporary interlude until the next warm spell.
By early June, the singing ceases altogether except for the one or two odd loud mouths. It’s no coincidence that these little frogs awaken just as the first bugs of spring begin to appear. On the same nights that I first hear these peepers, my windshield can always be found covered with bugs (which are also just rewakening).
People often wonder how it is that these tiny little creatures can make so much noise but, in direct relation to its petite size, the spring peeper is apparently one of the loudest animals on Earth! The male spring peeper has a special sac attached to his throat that allows him to sing — using this sac, he squeezes air over the vocal cords and proceeds to amplify the sound by extensively inflating his throat into a large balloon-like bubble, and this produces an ear-piercing high-pitched peeping sound that can be heard for almost 2 kilometers away. The females don’t have this kind of fun — only the male peepers are endowed with this magical sac!
Spring Nocturne is a non-looped natural soundscape composed of an hour-long on-location digital stereo binaural field recording. This recording technique produces a three-dimensional audio image when listening with earphones or headphones. There are no other sounds of birds, insects, people, cars, planes, wind, rain or water. No layering effects were used. Bitrate encoded at 192 kbps for finest audio reproduction.