Jeepers, peepers, it’s springtime down South

The peepers in this pool relished the soaking rain on a mild day

The peepers in this pool (they're hiding) relished the rain on a mild day

Listen…. do you hear them? Peepers! Here in North Carolina, their wonderful spring anthem is being played in a vernal pond near you. Or a ditch, or a retention basin. Peepers aren’t picky. The spring peeper, a brownish frog up to one inch long with an x-marking on its back, can belt out some tunes.

This marshy area in coastal NC is the ideal podium for a peeper concert

This marshy area in coastal NC was the ideal podium for a peeper concert

When thousands of them are calling in unison (looking for love, of course), the sound can be deafening. Up close it can even hurt your ears. According to my research, you can hear large groups of peepers up to a mile away! (The audio link in this posting is the best I’ve found online.)

Here's a cousin of the spring peeper doing its part of the spring chorus

Here's a (larger) cousin of the peeper playing its part in the spring chorus

I’ve heard many a peeper parade, but I’ve never actually seen one of the petite performers. The other week, at Eno River State Park, Wessel and I attempted to view a peeper show up close and personal only to be greeted with complete silence. We had to walk up a ways to hear another peeper ensemble at a different venue. This time we kept our distance and enjoyed the show. We stood in the sunshine, closed our eyes, breathed deeply, and soaked in the coming season. Fear not, my friends in the north, the peepers are on their way. Enjoy the show!

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2 Responses to “Jeepers, peepers, it’s springtime down South”

  1. karel Says:

    Wonderful story. But in my stupid mind Jeepers was a jazzy song in the swing-era of Jazz. Thanks for this lesson

    • didaniel Says:

      You’re correct, Karel! (Never are you stupid!) It was a Louis Armstrong song, also performed by Frank Sinatra. I think Louis wrote it, but I can’t find evidence. My headline was a little play on that, though admittedly doesn’t really make sense. Is the song you were thinking of?

      Jeepers creepers, whered you get those peepers?
      Jeepers creepers, whered you get those eyes?
      Gosh all git-up, howd you get so lit up?
      Gosh all git up, howd it get that size?
      Golly gee, when you turn those heaters on,
      Woe is me, got to put my cheaters on.
      Jeepers creepers, whered you get those peepers?
      Oh those weepers, how they hypnotize!
      Whered you get those eyes?

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