Spring is official: the spring peepers are singing
No need to wait until the vernal equinox on Sunday. For me, spring begins when the spring peepers begin their lusty chorus in the wetlands along Western Run in Cockeysville. And they've been singing up a storm since last week's rainstorm.
The peepers are known to biologists as Pseudocris crucifer, and they're common in wetlands throughout the eastern U.S. The "crucifer" part of their name refers to the darkly pigmented "X" on their backs. Not that I've ever been able to see one. They're a purely auditory experience for me. Click here to listen.
The little frogs lives in the litter on the forest floor, and it's the males you hear singing in the early spring as they work to attract a mate.
They like places in or near wetlands, and our stretch of Western Run certainly qualifies. Last Thursday's storm flooded a wide expanse of the floodplain, and apparently it was just what the froggies needed.
(PHOTO: U.S. Geological Survey)