09 April 2010

Skywatch Friday: Horizontal holds and spring peepers

Sometimes, the camera sees soooo much more than the eye does. The other day brought fine weather to Scotts Bay, but also a low fog that hung over the water and only advanced and retreated as the tide did, never extending beyond the water's edge. It made everything down in the community look very Brigadoon-ish and mysterious. I thought it would make an interesting, brooding photo for Skywatch Friday.



It wasn't until I looked at this photo on my big monitor that I noticed the numerous horizontal waves that composed the entire photo; I count nine different bands of lines, from the clouds and sky to the two coasts flanking the Minas channel (channel unseen in this photo) to the veils of fog, then the spruces of the woodlot below our place, the alders and willows, the grasses, and the white cord of our pasture fence. It's not art, but it's kind of interesting.




Photo from the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History website


Meanwhile, the best of all possible spring gifts arrived tonight. I went out on the step just around sunset to smell the air and just revel in mild weather, when I heard the bell-like peep! peep! peep! And I started to grin. The northern spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) has woken even in Scotts Bay, and begun the annual chorus.

The spring peeper is as much a rite of spring as counting the snowdrops and waiting for the redwinged blackbirds to arrive. The tiny, tiny frogs begin their song shyly, just a few intermittent peeps here and there, like aural polka-dots. But with each passing night, the chorus grows and swells until it becomes this wonderful, heartwarming din, night after night after night. I shouldn't call it a din--although we have lots of peepers all around us, they aren't raucous like, say, a murder of crows descending on the trees. They sound like little crystal bells to me, and whenever possible I leave the bedroom window wide open so I can listen to them and let them sing me to sleep.

Which is what, dear friends, I'm going to let them do right now.

Spring is just awesome.

27 comments:

  1. sounds like a lovely way to fall asleep!

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  2. I love the peepers! You're the first person I've ever "met" that even mentioned the little noisemakers.

    Maybe then it won't be long until they start peeping up here.

    The Canada Geese sure are making a lot of noise. The marsh is starting to sound like a symphony tuning before a concert.

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  3. Beautiful thoughts, dear Jodi, ... sweet dreams.

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  4. That little frog share is super cute!
    Happy Spring my friend!

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  5. Dear Jodi, I thought your image of the bay to be very brooding and then, having read your comment, I found myself looking rather more closely and it is true, that it does break up into a series of horizontal strokes which, in the lower part of the picture, are cut by the vertical elements of the fir trees and the rough grasses. I do also like the way in which the whole composition relies on shades of three principal colours: blue, green and brown.

    Yes, spring is wonderful.

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  6. So rather have some peeps. I have a murder of crows that love my trees, and I am going to murder them one day!!!!

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  7. Jodi girl I so wish we had peepers here .. I am sadly going to have to buy a CD of them because there are NONE around here.Their music is one of the most healing medicines I can take .. you are so right about how they sound to us .. pure magic .. now, where to find a long CD of that gorgeous sound !!
    Hey .. I heard our foghorn a few mornings ago .. yes .. we have a foghorn here .. now how funny is that ? ;-)

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  8. A beautiful photo of the fog Jodi. I can imagine how your heart swelled with happiness upon hearing the spring peepers beginning their serenade. It is such a cheerful song. I hope you have a great weekend.

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  9. Jodi: I think that the spring peeper is my favorite sound in the whole world. When I hear the chorus it takes me back to the innocent days of playing in the yard before dark descended and chasing the wind. When spring peepers sing, all is right with the world.

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  10. Spring's aural polka dots.... I will never hear the peepers the same way again without seeing little dots of sound in the air! Delightful. (By the way, your horizontal waves and fog and fences composition IS art!)

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  11. Your picture is art to me. The fog looks like a pillow on the water. gorgeous.
    And it's so nice to wake up to the sound of birds every morning.

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  12. The Peepers are the best of the best signs of Spring for me, too, jodi. :) Your photo is beautifully familiar.

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  13. We have a tree frog that is indigenous to BC only.

    And every spring when they start, it is like a chorus of joy. Along with the Canada Geese, two of natures greatest music makers.

    Jen

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  14. Lovely picture. I love the rippling fog.

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  15. Hi Jodi,

    I always love discovering new things when I enlarge photos that I have taken. I am sometimes surprised as you were. Through your words, I can almost imagine what the chorus of peepers sound like :-)

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  16. I don't think I've seen or heard Peepers before, but the way you described them I wish I could. Maybe one evening you can record their crystal bell sound for us to hear? Glad you are getting more and more signs of Spring.

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  17. I'm not sure if we have spring peepers here with no body of water close by. But a lullaby sung by peepers sounds so soothing. Sweet dreams, Jodi!

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  18. The picture is beautiful and does have a sense of mystery to it. Maybe the composition of those horizontal bands is what drew you to take the photo in the first place, but you weren't aware of it. Your description of the peepers reminds me of all those sounds that return this time of year. I love it!

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  19. Yay for the first peepers! I loved the "aural polka-dots" line. You are such a fine writer, Jodi. :)

    I only counted 8 bands in the photo, although I enlarged it. I think I missed something -- but what I got was lovely.

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  20. A creature so gorgeous, that is called 'peepers' and makes the sound of aural polka-dots...I'm in love :)

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  21. oh that sounds like a lovely way to drift off to sleep. I was up at 3 am this morning as the oystercatchers were making such a noise outside.

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  22. You can't help but feel happy when frogs sing!

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  23. What a poetic post. I love the phrase "aural polka dots" -- it describes so well, I can hear the little peepers in my mind. What a great way to fall asleep.

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  24. I am excited to have located your blog. My grandfather was born and raised in Nova Scotia and it is on my list of places to visit before I die! I'm looking forward to following your site! Larry

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  25. So true about the peepers being an amazing mark of time... Spring Time! Pure magic! Great to see the photo.

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  26. A stunning view! Awesome landscape photo!

    Pixellicious Photos

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