FTLComm - Tisdale - June 12, 2000

Though we do have the sound to listen to I do not have a picture of the chorus or individuals who are making the music.

Just before crossing the railway tracks, going South from the golf course this was the sound that filled the van this morning and for a second brought me to a halt to see what was going on.

The little pond above lies on the North side of the CN track on the East side of the road and from it emanated the rapid high pitch clicking.

These sounds have associated frequencies out of our limited hearing range and occur at a rate that is truly astonishing. Unlike frogs which produce what sound much more like a chirping sound it is likely that these sounds are being produced by toads. However, I have no hard evidence to support this claim other then something I remember from a toad sound collector I heard on CBC radio one morning. I send the camera into the grass toward the sound of the clipping sound but realised that locating the sound maker would take far more skill and time then I had available.

There has been growing alarm in the biological and ecological community in the past few years in the amazing and dramatic decline in reptiles, world wide. Frogs especially seem to be disappearing completely from many
places to the extent that they
are simply no longer to be found.

I recall in the "so-called" wet years of the 1950s when frogs were simply everywhere. In the Pipestone Valley South of Wapella the road was covered from one side of the ditch to the other with the flattened corpses of frogs who had decided to sit on the road to serenade and were flatted into the road surface. At that same time I can remember seeing the road seem alive as the frogs jumped around in the car's head lights. This sort of scene is simple no longer seen.

Many attribute the wide use of various chemicals, both fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides with reducing the amphibian population while other suggest that the loss of these animals that were once so abundant is a whole combination of factors but the net result is that they are quickly disappearing.

I would welcome any information you might have on the source of today's sounds.