Spring Peeper in the Fall

We enjoyed the beauty of the weather this weekend. Heading out of the city and into the woods for a while, we stood under the red oak and then took a leisurely walk around the pines. The pines swayed, moaned and whispered with the wind. We stopped to listen to them. It was beautiful and eerie. We found ourselves at a little clearing under a circle of trees near the water. As we walked over to sit down, we spotted some tiny jumping thing in the leaves that we almost stepped on. Looking closer, to my delight, I saw it was a tiny bronze frog. Once it was convinced we were not going to step on it. It rested near us. We sat down beside it (a respectful distance away).  What a joy and peace it was, sitting and laying down in brown and bronzed oak leaves beside a tiny frog, overlooking marsh and water. The sun warmed us as ladybugs and other insects hopped and fluttered around. We laid on our backs looking up at the blue sky and a mature eagle suddenly appeared, flying right over us and then ducked out of sight over the pines.

The little frog was a Northern Spring Peeper. This tiny creature has an x type marking on its back and can darken or lighten it’s color according to its surroundings and mood. I think this one was matching the leaves very beautifully while basking in the sun. I find it funny that we encountered a frog known as an announcer of Spring in Autumn. And, at a time when I am not exactly in a rapturous mood about fall. The latin name given to this frog is pseudacris crucifer, pseudacris indicates it is more of a chorus frog than a regular tree frog. Crucifer makes note of the x or cross marking on the back. I love that this little hallmark of Spring, color shifting frog, bearing a delicate cross on it’s back, felt fine sitting beside us in the warmth of a gentle fall day. When I saw how spry, how quick and how easily that teensy frog can spring up and jump away, and seeing that it chose to hang with us was pure sweetness. The eagle flying over after that was exciting and felt like a blessing waved over us.
And now, my photo journal to go with the words:

The red oak we started under.
The red oak we started under.
The pines that we walked around and listened to as they spoke with the winds.
The pines that we walked around and listened to as they spoke with the winds.
When I first spotted the northern spring peeper. Notice the cross marking on the back.
When I first spotted the northern spring peeper. Notice the cross marking on the back.

IMG_3167

IMG_3168
Northern Spring Peeper chillin on an oak leaf at the end of October in Trempealeau, Wisconsin.
Laying down in the oak leaves.
Laying down in the oak leaves.
Sitting by the little frog on the oak leaves.
Sitting by the little frog on the oak leaves.
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