It is that time of year when the first frogs will be calling from the vernal ponds and streams here in West Virginia. One of my favorite sounds is that of the Upland Chorus Frog. These beautiful little frogs sing at night looking for mates in hopes of bringing the next generation into the world. Their upward pitched song, a rapid series of clicks, reminds some of the sound made by dragging a fingernail across the teeth of a comb.
I early March of 2009, I heard the following group of a dozen or so chorus frogs near my house. Moving every so slowly and quietly I made a furtive approach to the puddle where they were in concert. I placed the stereo mics close to the ground and very close to the edge of the water in hopes of creating a wide stereo field. Listening with headphones you would think that you were in the water with these guys:
A concert of upland chorus frogs in a vernal pond after dark. Berkeley County, WV. March 8, 2009. ©Wil Hershberger.
If you listen carefully you can hear that there are frogs calling from all around you. The stereo field was accentuated by having the mics so close to the frogs. They were spread out all around this small puddle of, perhaps, 10 feet in diameter.
I hope that you like this recording and the special circumstance under which it was made. The location is now an abandoned ATV race track. I doubt that I will hear any chorus frogs in that area this year – but there is hope that they will return. There is a new owner of the property and no ATVs have been run there for more than a year.