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    Spring peepers herald season’s turn

    At twilight, a chorus by these small frogs emanates from New England ponds and wetlands.

    > To listen, go to At twilight, we find the pond we’re looking for and park the car, wondering whether we’ll hear anything. I’ve brought my son and his friend out to Natick on a Saturday night, at Jackie Greene’s instruction. Greene, a reader from Wayland, had directed me to a wetland area off Oak Street, right near the Mass. Pike, that she said was alive with the distinctive sound of spring peepers, small frogs whose mating calls herald spring’s arrival. We approach the water and sure enough, a dusk chorus fills the crisp air: peeps of varied tones, rhythms, and frequency. Some sound like bird trills, others like whistling fireworks or catcalls. Actually, I suppose they are essentially amphibian catcalls. That makes me wonder: Are the peeps like pickup lines in a bar — you know, some work better than others? For years, two overnight hosts on WBZ Radio, Norm Nathan and Steve LeVeille, played peepers’ peeps on the air to mark the season’s turn. For Greene, the sound stirs memories of her childhood in Connecticut. Her family lived near a pond, and as soon as it thawed, the peepers began their annual chirping, “reminding us humans that the winter world is retreating and the earth is waking up,” she says. “Not a small accomplishment for such a tiny little creature!”

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