The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring chorus

In recent days, a sustained, swamp-like chorus has been—quite audibly—flowing up the Hill from the valley across IN-545 (across from the Saint Meinrad Archabbey Gift Shop). The area is wetland/woodland converted from farmland several years ago—part of a conservation effort for which Saint Meinrad received statewide recognition). This chorus continues day and night, day after day, and is quite loud (in a good way, I think).

After checking with a few knowledgeable sources, as well as discovering the unfortunate remains of several flattened suspects on the IN-545 pavement, my suspicions were confirmed. They are frogs (or toads—I’m not knowledgeable enough about the various species to identify the specific calls of each one). And by the sounds of it, there are many of them! Since coming to the monastery in the fall of 2006, this is the loudest, most numerous, and most vocally sustained they have been, in my view.

So, the other day, I went across the road to record the critters in concert. The (strictly amateur) video is above (you can’t actually see the frogs—only hear them). Remember to turn the volume up on your computer (although I have discovered that at extremely high volume, it can actually begin to hurt your ears!).

Amazingly, I recorded this video at around 3:30 in the afternoon, on a somewhat breezy day (you’ll hear the wind occasionally brushing into the microphone), a time at which the amphibian chorus is not really at its peak. They are at their best in the evenings and early mornings. Still, the result is distinct enough! Enjoy.

UPDATE: Shortly after I posted the above, the frogs (or toads) took a break, and they have been quiet ever since. I think, perhaps, it got a little too cold for them. Once the temperatures start rising again (and as long as it remains mating season), I'm sure we'll here more from the spring chorus. For now, enjoy the video.-- Br. Francis

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