Posted by: Jamie Stamm | March 5, 2008

A sure sign of spring


Five years ago, during our first spring at our house, we settled into bed one night and flipped on the baby monitor so we could keep an ear on our then-newborn daughter Cera.

But instead of the steady breathing we expected to hear, we were met with an unusual high-pitched noise. We raced across the hall to Cera’s room, only to discover that the strange sound actually was coming from outside our house. We stepped out on our deck and were greeted by a medley of peeping and croaking – the springtime song of the hundreds of frogs and toads that live in the creek behind our house. It was a bit overwhelming at first (thank goodness Cera has always slept like a rock and wasn’t a bit bothered by the noise), but once we got used to those peeps and croaks, we began to relish them, and there have been many nights since that we’ve been lulled to sleep by our amphibious friends.

As that first spring progressed, we started to notice frogs and toads nearly everywhere around our house – hopping through the grass and into our garden, clinging to our windows (this is a great source of both torment and amusement for our cat) and sitting silently on our driveway and front steps.

As Cera has gotten older, she and her Daddy have spent countless hours catching frogs and toads, from those small enough to fit on the tip of a toddler’s finger to one bullfrog last summer that was so big Cera had to cup it in both hands. Through all of this, I have been more than happy to watch from the sidelines, “petting” the catches that are brought to me but otherwise keeping my distance (my husband calls me “city girl”). But still, I’ve become quite a fan of amphibians.

In fact, frogs and toads have became so much a part of our environment (or maybe we a part of theirs) that when it came time to decorate our son Anthony’s nursery three summers ago, we chose a beautiful “pond” blue base, onto which my mother-in-law painted various frogs – lounging on lily pads, hanging from branches and even appearing to leap in through the window.

While others may look for daffodils or hummingbirds as sure signs of spring, we eagerly await the sounds of our creek. And this weekend, as we bounced on the trampoline in our backyard, we were accompanied by the peeps and croaks for the first time this year.

Then, as we pulled into our driveway tonight, there sat two toads, enjoying the drenching rain. Cera jumped out of the car and, before I knew it, she had one in each hand. “Quick! Go get Daddy!” she cried.

Today’s rain may bring cooler temperatures for the immediate future, but with our amphibian friends alerting my senses, I know that spring is just around the corner.



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