Wood Frogs in a vernal pool at Audubon Arcadia, Easthampton MA

Wood frogs in a vernal pool

Wood frogs are starting to wake up and call to each other in vernal pools around here. I visited a large pool just behind the visitor’s center at Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Refuge. I got some great recordings of frogs there exactly a year ago, working with Maine-based sound artist Steve Norton. I’m pretty sure that’s the last time I did anything in person with a friend with no mask and no distancing.

If you listen with headphones, be aware that some of these frogs get very loud. There’s one in the left channel who sounds like he’s croaking right into the mic – which is possible, since I recorded with a pair of LOM Uši Pro omnis dangled maybe an inch above the surface of the water. In between this frog’s sharp, high barks, you can hear a quiet sort of moan, perhaps the air he’s building up to make the next loud call. The land edge of the pool is just under the left mic, so he may be sitting on that, making his calls closer, and perhaps even louder for bouncing off of both the surface of the water and the underside of the wooden walkway.

After this flurry, the frog calls died down more suddenly than they started. The clip ends with a rustling sound, perhaps our soloist hopping away.

In the photo you can see two neon-red hairy puffs – those are the Uši Pro in a pair of the windshields we make here at EIS HQ.