Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I love spring. One of the things I love most--the peepers. They were singing away in the afternoon yesterday--there in the muddy leafy "ponds" that will soon be mosquito (frog food) breeding grounds before they dry out. Yesterday I went from peeper pond to peeper pond, watching as they slipped into the water, the circles spreading above them in the black water. But there was this one giant brown frog in one pond (not peeper-like at all) that was swimming around and looping upside down--exposing his pale belly flesh.

I kept wondering about him. He looked as if he hadn't thawed out all the way yet. And he didn't peep, he glugged and garbled, his legs not able to propel him down but rather moving him in slow, helpless circles. Maybe there was something wrong with his liver, my friend suggested when I told her about the peeper-life.

Spring Peepers make glucose in their livers. The glucose is like an anti-freeze that is circulated through their vital organs in winter. The other (less vital?) parts of the body do freeze.

I'd never really thought about a frog having liver failure.

1 comment:

michael salinger said...

Back when I lived in the sticks the peepers prefaced the salamander migration.

Big things - black with yellow spots - the size of hotdogs with little rubbery alligator legs -would cross my driveway from the woods to a small pond.

Second rain after the peepers started - never fail.