Frogs. My neighbour has a charming little ornamental waterfall running beside his driveway (we live on a hill; waterfalls are an obvious choice for a landscaping feature). It's inhabited by a croaker. No, make that at least two croakers. My bedroom window faces out that way; the last few nights I haven't been able to leave the window open because the froggies have been keeping up a non-stop concert. I kid you not: non-stop, from nightfall on until the small hours of the morning - or so I presume; usually I've long closed the window before the small hours, in sheer exasperation. Not even a pillow over the ear drowns them out.
Ribbet ribbet ribbetribbet ribbet... That's what it was until a few days ago, and then a new sound got added. Now it's more like this: ribbetribbet robbet ribbet robbetribbet... I think the "robbet" one, that's the new arrival. Maybe Froggie went a-courtin', and in this case decided on an amphibian girlfriend, rather than taking up with Miss Mousie like his progenitor in the song (uh-huh). (When you stop to think about that one, the genetic makeup of their offspring is a rather interesting concept. Okay, let's not go there.)
What amazes me is how these tiny little critters can make such a racket. They might be no bigger than a few centimeters long, but their sound carries over a hundred meters or more.
So I was lying in bed last night, thinking of how charming it was to have these sounds of nature right outside my window... sigh. My current nighttime choice is between fresh air, and quiet. Fortunately it's not quite warm enough at night that I have to have to the window open, so I can still go for quiet. But mandatory window-open season will come soon - by which point, the frogs will have stopped their springtime mating call, and have handed the conductor's baton on to the crickets (screescreescreescreescree, the warmer the air, the faster the cricketing). And don't even get me started on the birds - 4:00 AM, they start their yelling in the summer! Yes, yelling. When the crickets and frogs have kept me up until past midnight, I completely lack all appreciation for the charm of a dawn chorus.
Well, actually, that's not quite true. I do appreciate the sounds of animals outside my window. It's one of the things I love about living in small-town Canada, right at the edge of the woods. I'd much, much rather be kept awake by courting frogs and woken up by yelling birds than by their equivalent in human activity or machinery.
Life, the Universe, and Froggie Singing in the Night. A sword and a pistol by his side, Uh-huh.