One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Spring Things


Today was a gorgeous day. Bright and sunny, with temperatures hovering around 57. The steady breezes of earlier in the week seem to have abated some.

At work, in fact, we’re making a spring transition. As the days warm up, we don’t need to turn the heat on before guests arrive and sometimes even prop a door to outside open once they do. Before long, though, we’ll be relying on the AC to keep things comfortable. For now, these days are lovely.

Out in the garden there, these German bearded irises are blooming and how could I resist offering them as the latest entry in the 2008 Spring Purple Parade?

On another front, I’ve been a little remiss in sharing with you. About two weeks ago I made a video clip of one of my favorite things about this time of year: the spring peeper.

Living in the Adirondacks, the sound of these tree frogs was my annual indicator that spring truly was upon us, as their song usually coincides with the warmer rains and nights of a certain temperature (usually around 50F is when it starts). Generally, it was a song that you’d hear momentarily, as you drove or walked past some vernal pond or wetland area.

At our last place, in Eastham, we were living right on the pond and so we had the chance to get to know them a little up close and personal. They would find their way from the big natural pond up to our little plastic koi pond. On particularly rainy nights, we found them clinging to the sides of the house and the screen door.

Each spring there’d one frog who’d start. (The first link above includes recordings of the singular call, as well as the sound of the masses) He’d sing for a night or two, tentatively at first and then more decisively, as others began to emerge and add their calls to his song…and before long, a delightful natural cacophony that’s part car alarm and part the sound of alien spaceships in the 60s, but at a distance often mistaken for crickets.

We found they would sing on and off throughout the summer, unless it was too hot or too cold. During the height of their spring emergence, they can be quite loud. We discovered during those times it was almost impossible to talk on the phone outside, or near an open window.

They’re easier to track down when there’s only one or two singing. When they’re all doing their thing, it’s crazy-making to try. You won’t see any on this clip, but click on the “peeper” tag below and you’ll find some photos from previous years.

I miss living so near to them this year; I’d grown accustomed to them. Now I’m back to only hearing them as I drive by or distantly while I’m out walking with Em in the evening. So when I found this pond not far from work, how could I resist capturing it?

With no further adieu, I present the spring peepers:

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