Music to My Ears

Reader Contribution by Renee-Lucie Benoit
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Every evening we get treated to the most wonderful music from the back of our acreage. If you don’t already know, we have two and a half acres in the middle of the Central Valley of California.

The foundations for this music were created back in December when Marty accidentally left the water running to one of our horses water troughs. He let it go all night long! Can you believe it? I keep saying, “Put in those automatic floats!” He keeps procrastinating and for what I don’t know!

So when we went out to feed the animals on that morning we found a big shallow lake spanning both horse pens. Marty! I’m glad we have a really good well!

It hadn’t rained much up to that point and we weren’t sure if it would rain at all, so I hoped that the “lakes” would evaporate or at least go back into the ground. Around here we have hardpan so going back into the ground takes a long, long, time.

Then it rained. And it rained some more. The lakes got bigger.

This month we have discovered the silver lining to that accident: Frog music!

Every night this is what we hear:

They are Sierra Tree Frogs. I think. Or they might be Baja Tree Frogs. I’m not a herpetologist and my internet research indicates the likelihood of the Sierra.

They are tiny and they definitely come out at dusk, but once in a while I have seen them during the day. I saw one in a rose bush yesterday. I think that one was lost. My rose bushes are nowhere near the lakes.

I found one in the breezeway of our horse barn. Frog? Toad?

This is the greatest harbinger of spring I can think of. Now we have cattle egrets in our lakes from time to time and even a pair of mallards. They are looking for a froggy meal. There are also wading birds, which I can’t identify.

I wish Marty hadn’t let the water run but since there’s nothing I can do about it now I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the Evening Chorus!

Photo and video property of Renee-Lucie Benoit.