Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Have you been Hearing the Frogs?

The recent talk of spring cheepers and peepers here on the Blind Pig and the acorn reminded me of the post below, which was published here on the Blind Pig in March of 2013.

Spring peepers

 

A toad frog that lived under our back deck one summer.

Excerpt from Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English:

Spring cheeper, spring peeper noun 1967 DARE spring cheeper = small frog that sings or chirps loudly in spring (Maryville, TN). 1984 Wilder You All Spoken 59 spring peeper = These noisy frogs erupting from the mud of hibernation are pinklewinks on Martha’s Vineyard and pinkwinks on Cape Cod. Most everywhere they are voices of Spring.

I first heard spring peepers a week or so ago as the girls and I were coming through Warne, NC headed for home. They put out an amazing sound. Driving down the road is when I notice them the most in early spring. It’s only for a few short seconds as you pass by their home-but they fill the car with their sweet voices which sing of spring.

I had big plans to walk down the road to the first culvert and tape some peepers-so you could hear them too. But old man winter has decided to interrupt spring here in southern Appalachia and there’s no spring peepers to be heard. They’ve burrowed back down until spring returns.

I did find the sound on youtube-click here to go hear them for yourself.

Have you heard spring peepers at your place yet this year?

Tipper

*Source Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English.

 

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Tamela
    February 20, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I love frogs – and if it were earlier in the day I could write a lengthy response of frog experiences – perhaps its a good thing that I’m not up to it tonight.
    We have had a few frog practice sessions but have been having lots of spring bird songs since January; and I recently heard that the hummingbirds have already made their way to Oklahoma – although I haven’t seen one yet here in central Texas – but I’ve cleaned up and filled my feeders just in case. The first blooming Rusty blackhaw are in full bloom and all sorts of trees are budding out. It is reported that monarchs are stirring in their Mexico winter hang out.
    The anticipation of spring is making us all eagerly restless!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    February 20, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Impatiently waiting!

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    February 20, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Heard them just this evening, on a trip down to the mailbox to fetch the mail. I’d like to think that means Spring has sprung, but we know that’s often not the case, at least not here in NC.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I forgot, we also call them “knee deeps” cause that’s what they seem to be saying.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    February 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Perhaps this crazy winter has completely confused the poor little peepers of the southern Appalachians. No chance at all of peepers, robins or swelling buds this early here at Deep Creek Lake, MD., even in this El Nino year. The climate here more like Manitoba than Maryland–total snow cover, and the peepers will have to wait until the thick ice thaws. The frozen lake still sports hardy fishermen angling through holes in the ice, and weekend snowmobile jocks racing up and down the ice.

  • Reply
    Eleanor Loos
    February 20, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    OHMYGOODNESS, Tipper! I hear spring peepers, too, from the creek that runs across the road! I’ve not hear them yet this year. (It’s cooler in Ohio, though today it’s 65 degrees and beautiful!) Each year our family enjoyed hearing them and they can get quite vocal. It’s a wonderful “welcome to springtime” sound!
    Have a blessed Sunday!
    Eleanor L.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 20, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I call them peep frogs. I heard a few at a retention pond below the Food Lion right before you get to Morganton on this side of town. The one across from Bi-Lo. It’s across the road and up the hill from Hunting Creek that you talked about in a post sometime back.
    That was on Groundhog Day and I haven’t heard any since. I think they must have come out just to see if the groundhog saw his shadow.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Tipper,
    I ain’t heard any little frogs so far, guess it’s still too cold. All I’ve heard are those blooming Crows, and they’re always around. I throw bread out for them often mainly because I feel sorry for them and I get to watch how they operate. Usually they put out 3 sentrys to watch for danger. Then they fly down and masterfully take turns eating, switching out with their sentrys. If a sentry lets a crow get killed, the group, when they get to their safe place, hold council and that sentry gets killed also. They have a strict life, but they’re survivors…Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 20, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Tipper,
    We have heard frogs off and on since January…The earliest was Jan. that I have ever heard them…
    They were calling again last night with this warmer breeze we had come in….I have always called our frogs Chorus frogs….In TN there Is a Upland Chorus frog and a Mountain Chorus frog and a Spring Peeper…The Chorus frogs sound like a zillion bubbling voices coming from the water logged lower pasture….I dearly love to listen to them…Our Spring Peeper does a high pitched single peep…repeating several times…Sometimes it has more accomplice peeps as they try to out peep each other for mates.
    I love my frogs and toads…I can hardly wait for the peaceful sound of the tree frogs…sure sign of a damp warm summer. In our little yard pond we have Banjo frogs…They are not shy and will sit and watch you pull weeds…then just when you least expect it a “plunk” sound like a stroke of a banjo will entertain you…My whiskey barrels and large flower pots are hibernation homes of our warty looking brown toads….I try to remember that one may be there nestled a foot or so down when I start loosening the soil…or you will hear me scream when it pops up as startled as I am…ha
    We have many species of frogs and toads living around our home and we try to keep them all happy by not poisoning plants and bugs too much….After all they do a much better job at the bug catching than we do and environmentally friendly….
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…The huge Bullfrogs call from the large pond In the pasture.
    I am not fond of frog legs but my husband loves them…When we were dating I went on one frog hunting expedition with him…I could not get out of the car, I was so scared…..ha

  • Reply
    Zelma
    February 20, 2016 at 10:53 am

    No peepers yet–we still have snow on the ground. My dad called them “peeneeps”, and that’s what I tend to call them.
    I did see 30+ robins last week before the snow–they stay around here all winter up in the woods, and pop out for a few worms when it gets warmer. If we get the 60 degree days this weekend and some rain, this remaining snow will go away, which will make me very happy!

  • Reply
    eva nell mull wike, PhD
    February 20, 2016 at 9:52 am

    YEAH! That will wake you up! We have not heard the peepers here in East Tennessee but it won’t be long now!
    Oops Jim recorded you ‘sound of the peepers’ so now we have them peeping in our kitchen!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    ncmountainwoman
    February 20, 2016 at 9:37 am

    When we first moved here my neighbor found out that we are bird lovers. She asked, “what are those birds I’ve been hearing recently at night?” She was blown away when I explained about spring peepers. And we all had a good laugh.

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    February 20, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Stepped out on my back porch with a cup of coffee to watch the sun come up this morning and heard the spring peepers in the field beside my house. Think they are a little early.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    February 20, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I haven’t heard them here yet but I have seen a few daffodils showing their yellow faces.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 20, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Mountain peeps! Yes, we have heard them once already. Our neighbor across the road has a low place down in the head of the hollow where they hang out. We heard them one evening after dark as we were on the way to church. Their scientific name has been changed since I first learned it (along with many others) so I know less all the time.
    Along about the same time I picked some daffodils. We grew up calling them ‘Easter lilies’. But the little white-blooming cress chugs right along sun or snow. Spring is trying to start but I keep watching for the red maaple twigs to turn red.
    I’ve been watching the chilling hours mount up. We are over 1000 now so that’s enough for the apples. The way it works is fabulously designed to take maximum advantage of both the warm to grow and the cold to go dormant.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    February 20, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Tipper, you have dug right into my cerebral frog file. The greatest sounds in the world are those early sounds of spring. A sound I enjoyed even more were the night sounds coming from the mountains at my Dad’s mountain home. He would raise a window at night, and they would be unbelievably loud. He had such a way of encouraging us to enjoy the small things.
    I also have a distant memory of thousands of tiny frogs after a rain. We children were playing on a creek bank, and we were all certain it had just rained frogs. We enjoyed seeing how many we could capture–poor frogs.
    I did not realize the danger of frogs, and I permitted one to camp outside the sliding doors. My little dog went out to investigate and licked the frog. Immediately, when I brought her back in the house she seemed to have a seizure of sorts. This was many years ago, but thereafter I made certain no froggies lurking near the doorway.

  • Reply
    Patsy
    February 20, 2016 at 8:38 am

    I am hoping to hear Spring Peepers soon…I’m so ready for Spring and warmer weather. As my special Aunt Dede says “I’d rather sweat than shiver”! Have a wonderful day.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 20, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I haven’t heard the peepers but I sure am hearing the birds and I want to tell them to stop, it’s too early. I also have flowers coming up and it’s too early for them too. They get frozen, it’s not time yet even though the thermometer thinks it is!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Open. We call them rain frogs or tree frogs. They are green not toads at all we have them too though but they aren’t as noisy, but sound like an alligator. Our frogs that come out in spring are the color of the Geico Gecko

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Open. We call them rain frogs or tree frogs. They are green not toads at all we have them too though but they aren’t as noisy, but sound like an alligator. Our frogs that come out in spring are the color of the Geico Gecko

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Open. We call them rain frogs or tree frogs. They are green not toads at all we have them too though but they aren’t as noisy, but sound like an alligator. Our frogs that come out in spring are the color of the Geico Gecko

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Open. We call them rain frogs or tree frogs. They are green not toads at all we have them too though but they aren’t as noisy, but sound like an alligator. Our frogs that come out in spring are the color of the Geico Gecko

  • Reply
    Carol Reid
    February 20, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Love hearing the spring peepers here in Brasstown. Always makes me feel at HOME. My son who lives in Philly now has the PEEPER sound for his cell phone call.
    A favorite sound for us.
    Thank you for your blog.

  • Reply
    TimMc
    February 20, 2016 at 7:23 am

    O yea,, walked out late yesterday and could hear them in the bottom below our house. When I was young, my brother and I would go down below our house where we were raised, in a boggy area and look at the frog eggs and tadpoles and would catch some and put them in a jar, there would be thousands, then every once in a while you’d see a herron (big tall lanky bird) filling up on tadpoles.standing right where all those tadpoles swim, it’s still a little early now for that but, we’re getting close..

  • Reply
    Louise Baker
    February 20, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I love the sounds of the spring peepers too. We haven’t heard them yet but there is hope ,for this morning , I heard a lone bird singing clear notes in the crisp morning air. Last week in the midst of our freezing ,stormy, weather I think I saw a robin. it’s time for renewal, it’s time for spring.

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