Voices of Spring

Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla Versicolor)

The voices of spring are absent …..and we are worried.

Every spring, sometimes as early as mid February, we hear spring peeper frogs (Pseudacris or Hyla Crucifer) in full chorus near our home.  This frog shares a similar habitat with the Eastern Gray Tree Frog.  Sadly this season we have heard zip, nada, not a single call of a peeper. Yes, it has been dryer and warmer much sooner in the region, but this has not stopped these determined little fellows before.

Upon closer inspection of the land tract we notice heavy equipment paths and disturbance of vegetation and no woodland vernal pools this year.  Unfortunately we will not know until next spring if the early heat this spring and lack of moisture is of issue or destruction through development will have a lasting impact.  So far we have seen no physical evidence of the peepers frogs themselves. They can be a bit elusive by day, however without undisturbed cover and water, their breeding cycle is disrupted. These frogs are pretty “neat oh cool”, but temperature extremes and attempts at pristine landscaping is not conducive to their survival.  In many states peepers have all but disappeared.

Spring showers and flowers also mean…..

Grass is nice and scratchy for an itchy face - a problem for dogs with grass allergies

Allergy season is upon us.     However, what on average takes 6 weeks in plant and woodland growth have occurred in the last 5 to 7 days. All types of flowers and variety of trees are blooming at once, even those not due to bloom until May. 80 degrees in March is unbelievable, resulting in an explosion of pollen in just 48 hrs. Very surreal, and miserable for canines that have allergies.  Upon consultation with our vet we hope to keep allergy symptoms of itching and scratching at bay with use of appropriate doses of antihistamine medication. In the duration outdoor time in wind is being kept at a minimum, much to the consternation of our dogs.  We have the “cone” on standby until medication ramps up to prevent face rubbing and foot chewing as seen in the photos.

Dogs cant scratch their paws to relieve itchiness, so they chew.

I know many other pets are suffering as well. If you hop on over to ReactiveChampion there is  a great discussion on the topic.