Jeepers, Creepers!

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When summer in the Hudson Valley is nice and wet—mid-July brings Spring Peepers! But blink and you will miss them. These thumbnail-sized frogs answer to many names throughout the northeast - "tinkletoes", "pinkeltinks", "pink-winks" and are sometimes thought to herald from the moon. 

Here at home - and at my Grandfather's little yellow cottage on Rodeau Bay in Ontario, Canada where I first encountered one - we just call them "peepers". Peepers live in the loose leaves and bark of damp forests where they feast on ants, beetles, flies and spiders.  You'll hear the males' chorus in the spring near the marshes, ponds and swamps where females lay their eggs.  

When we found this little guy we whipped up a habitat for him using a mason jar and some cheese cloth. Adding a wet leaf to make him feel at home. After a half hour of study,  he craftily escaped and the boy sang a little song of encouragement as he hopped toward freedom (or the moon).

jane beck

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