Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

June 19, 2013

Frog songs and s’mores

Zionsville — The trill of the American Toad — the “frog” that was once common in our backyards — will always conjure up a memory of camping out at Willow Lake in the spring back in my much younger days.

The old Nash Rambler had pull-down seats that laid flat for sleeping. My sister and I would camp out in the car while my parents enjoyed nighttime fishing just a few yards away. We did this several times a summer, awakening to the smell of the campfire that had roasted our hot dogs and s’mores the night before. I don’t recall being aware of the night sounds then. Only in my later years when I again heard the frog song did my spirit awaken to the memory of those pleasant days.

The call of the toad is often described as the trill of a teakettle, long, high and melodious. There are 17 frog species in Indiana: three toads and 14 frogs. The less common Fowler’s toad has a harsher call, a nasally bleat likened to a lifeguard’s whistle. Many of our amphibian’s spring mating calls are quite easily distinguishable, like that of the Northern Cricket Frog, which sounds like two steel balls clicking together, often continuing for a long series. The call of the Western Chorus Frog is that of running a finger across the teeth of a comb. The Green Frog’s call reminds most of a plucked banjo string. Discerning their distinctive calls can be quite a fun family activity and a great way to introduce kids or adults to nature.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.

 

1
Text Only
Commentary
  • A bee, or not to be It’s weird that while working in my garden I am always looking for insect damage as a positive sign. I spotted lots of torn leaves on my Dutchman’s Pipevine and was pleased. The vine is a larval food source — caterpillar food — for the Pipevine Swallowtail, one of Indiana’s many swallowtail butterflies.

    July 16, 2014

  • Basements aren’t just for tornadoes anymore The Lutheran church ladies are back in town at Beef & Boards performing “A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement.” The show runs through Aug. 17.

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.

    July 16, 2014

  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

    July 16, 2014

  • Vacation workout can be simple, convenient It’s vacation time, so many of my customers are requesting workouts they can do while on vacation to stay in shape. The tricky part is 1.) knowing what kind of equipment they will have, and 2.) if it’s too complicated, they won’t do it. So I like to keep it as simple as possible to minimize both of those barriers.

    July 9, 2014

  • Set example to raise world changers A recent trip to Sam’s Club raised both my ire and my puzzlement over how our world could have grown so cold. It also challenged me to consider how I’m raising my children. Am I raising them in a way to return warmth to the world?

    July 9, 2014

  • Hardships mount for military families INDIANAPOLIS – Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help.

    July 9, 2014

  • Learning the hard way develops critical thinking One of my friends posted a picture last week of a little kid holding a lit sparkler, but someone had poked the wire through a red plastic cup so the sparks wouldn’t hit the child’s hand. My first thought was to wonder if I needed to stop being friends with this person who thought that looked like a good idea. I did not.

    July 9, 2014

  • Look out for tomato leaf spots this year The most commonly grown crop in central Indiana gardens is the tomato. They do well in our climate; however, as any experienced grower knows, they are also susceptible to several diseases. About this time of year two common fungal leaf-spot diseases often appear on tomato plants. Septoria leaf spot and early blight are both characterized by brown spots on the leaves.

    July 2, 2014

  • Motherhood: the bonus round A headline on Yahoo! Shine caught my attention last week. It said women who give birth later in life tend to live longer. As a woman who had a baby at 40, I was very interested, mostly because I am sure that Youngest is trying her level best to kill me off because I am old and weak.

    July 2, 2014

Order Times Sentinel photos


Photos from July 2014

Facebook
Twitter Updates
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide