Spring Peeper – Spring Cheeper

Spring Peeper - Spring Cheeper

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. (*Before you watch the video you may need to stop the music player here on the Blind Pig-the music controls are along the top of this page on the far left side-just under the Blind Pig logo. Click the center round button to stop the player.)

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


*Source Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English.


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  • Reply
    March 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    We live way in the country where there are many farm ponds around, and we hear peepers almost nightly when it’s warm enough. And you’re right, they were all abuzz last week, this week – nothing thanks to this late season cold snap.
    During the summer, we have a tree frog that sits on the glass of our back door, up by the porch light, probably to get some bug snacks attracted by the light. We call him Jeremiah, like the song – “Jeremiah was a tree frog, was a good friend of mine.” (Was that done by Three Dog Night? I think so.)
    God bless.

  • Reply
    March 22, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Way too cold for the peepers here! I love and cherish the song of the peepers as the best harbinger of spring and I can’t wait to hear them.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    March 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I, too, love to hear the frogs every spring but not everyone understands. On March 23, 1853, Henry David Thoreau’s old maid Aunt Maria shouted to his Aunt Jane, who was near deaf, “Why, last night he stood down at that pond for over an hour just to hear frogs CROAK!” Poor Aunt Maria…(This is not a personal memory, I read it in a book.)

  • Reply
    Sharon Schuster
    March 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I first heard the spring peepers here in Maryland a couple of weeks ago when we had a warm spell. I saw a spring peeper for the first time about 3 years ago. They are so small. We have the toad family living here around the porch and container garden all summer. I enjoy their presence – except one time. I dshed out the kitchen door and stepped on something firm but squishy. I though, “Lord, please let that be a peach.” But, when I looked down, to my horror, I had stepped on one of the toad family. It wasn’t harmed, but stunned for a little, then hopped off. Im was stunned too, but I managed to hop on along with that creepy sensation and memory that stays with me still today.

  • Reply
    Paul Certo
    March 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    It’s 30 degrees and snowing here. The first robins were just spotted last week. Peepers, not for at least a couple of weeks. The tulips are barely out of the ground. We’re a little later than your area. Skunks have started waking up, though.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I made Snowcream this morning with
    an inch of Beautiful Snow. I was
    watching the NIT basketball stuff
    last night when it started, about
    10pm. Our weather channel didn’t
    even talk about that possibility.
    I ain’t heard or seen any frogs
    yet, but I fed some big tadpoles
    yesterday. It won’t be long now.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    March 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    tipper i love the sounds of the peepers and all the spring sounds.. that little guy was lucky living near your wonderful family 🙂
    i really am ready for spring.. but old man winter is dragging his feet here in sw pa… ughhh snow today and in the 20’s
    much love and hugs to you and all
    and thank you as always for such wonderful sharing and inspiration.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Yes, the familar sounds of spring! I don’t like it when they get into the house, so I am careful when opening and closing doors to the outside. They can be quite noisy. Good reminder!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

    The voice of the spring peeper is in the range of sound that I cannot hear or are drowned out by tinnitis, but The Mountaineer asked me early last week if I could “Hear the frogs hollerin’?” Unfortunately, they’ve retreated for the time being, it’s chilly here in West Georgia, too.
    I remember hearing them as a kid, ‘way up in the North Country, Western New York, in April and May.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 10:14 am

    They started late February here in Gibsonville.
    What a chorus! We hear them off and on all during the day, but mainly early morning and late evening.
    We call them peepers.

  • Reply
    Susan C
    March 21, 2013 at 10:10 am

    When I hear spring peepers, it makes my heart glad because I know winter is almost over and SPRING is near! My favorite season.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

    We haven’t heard them here yet. Two years ago our neighbor (from New York) asked me about the birds that sing at night. She was talking about the spring peepers!

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    March 21, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I love, love frogs and toads..
    Actually a toad is a frog, but with dryer and more bumpy skin. Oh well! I also love my big old American Toad, except when I dig in one of my big whiskey barrels and upend one hibernating and it scares me to death…
    I have been hearing the Chorus frogs for a month or more. Then it turned off real cold and they shut the heck up. After another warm rain they were at it again. Do you know how they make that sound. I slipped up on them and they were all sittin’ around with Roys’ lost pocket combs (he’s been losing them for years) taking their little toes and pulling it down the teeth of the comb. Quite a site. Then the “peeper” was in the background nearer the trees, givin’ their one note whistle. The cricket frog would only “burp”
    inbetween the high note and the comb trebleing…My big Banjo frog, was just sittin’ their with a lily pad wrapped around hisownself, blinking his eyes, and sayin’ “I have a few weeks before I have a “gig” and these gals and fellers won’t let me sleep..
    Yep, right now we have at least three species in the band…Won’t be long before the Gray Tree Frogs jump in from the Oaks along with the “banjer” by then the lightning bugs should be twinkling making a soothing, moody Spring evening.
    This may be more than you wanted to know about frogs and toads…but I love me some frogs..
    legs not so much!!!!!
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    March 21, 2013 at 9:45 am

    They were singing around here until the cold weather moved back in.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    March 21, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Tipper: Those little peepers are all over our creek banks. When we do a ‘walk-about’ the loudest sounds welcome us back home. It is so wonderful to ‘feel’ and ‘hear’ the change from winter to spring! Thanks for making us even more aware of our wonderful environment!
    Eva Nell
    p.s. Maybe the difficulty I was having getting on your blog has thawed out! Now we will listen to the fellows as we have a LATE breakfast! Thanks fellows!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Not a peeper has been heard here in KY. I’ve never looked so forward to hearing their sound. With the prediction for below average temps and snow through March, they have decided to go back to sleep.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    March 21, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Looks like winter isn’t quite done yet. I am visiting in Brevard, NC, and it was 23 deg this morning with a light dusting of new snow. Not a spring cheeper in sight or earshot

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 21, 2013 at 8:38 am

    They sound like what we call “rain frogs”

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 21, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Tipper, I was gonna say no, I’ve never heard of spring peepers but then I listened to the youtube and of course I’ve heard them. I just didn’t know what was making that noise. It is a very soothing sound.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 8:03 am

    “Their sweet voices which sing of spring.” Who else would have phrased it like that? That speaks volumes about your nature!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 21, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I always called them peep frogs. I heard some about a month ago at the convenience center where I take my trash. All the yukky liquid that gets squeezed out of the compactors runs across the pavement and down over the bank. That’s where they were hollering. I’ve been back several times since and ain’t heard them. Either this late cold snap put them back in the ground or that nasty stuff killed them all.

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    March 21, 2013 at 7:15 am

    O yea, all down in the woods for a few days in the low 70’s they began to sing,, Been kinda cool since last Monday’s storms,, they’ve all gone back into their dens,,

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    March 21, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Walk by any area with ground water seepage particularly in the early evening, and be prepared for a concert.

  • Reply
    Tim Hassell
    March 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Listen for the Spring peepers after the New Year, whatever you are doing when you hear them for the first time that year is what you’ll be doing most of the year. I’ve heard this old saying all my life. I hope it ain’t true in 2013—–I was at a most unpleasant task.

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