A few years ago, I lived on a property bordered by a state forest which included a pond in the far backyard. During my first spring, I got to really hear the mating sounds of frogs, a specific chorus of sounds that said, ‘Hey, look at me. I’m a worthy mate’. Frogs mating sound slowly builds, climaxes, and then recedes, a beautiful symphony for the mid-spring concert already going on. I loved listening, learning about them firsthand, and then watching hundreds of eggs pool around the edges and finally hatch into tadpoles.
My native elders encouraged me to learn all I can about a species that caught my attention. This practice of observing and even researching aspects of nature, such as a frog, can be helpful in understanding them as symbols that may show up in the Dreamtime.
What are Dream Symbols?
“Most often, it’s only the male frogs call, and calls are species-specific though there are dialects by region (croak, croak, croak yall). Dialects allow males to self-sort and avoid competing with males from other areas that are far away or outside their region. Male frogs call to attract mates and to advertise their fitness to females. Most mating is done at night under cover of darkness, so frogs use vocalizations instead of visual displays. Calls are produced in the larynx and are amplified by one or more vocal sacs. These sacs are thin membranes of skin that are either directly under the chin or extending from the chin to the mouth. Female frogs may respond to the males to encourage their advances with short croaks or other sounds (some females object quite vocally if they don’t find the male’s advances desired).”
FrogWatch USA has more information based on your particular state. I highly recommend you check them out.
Why are frogs so important?
1. They are a mid-food chain species. I didn’t know this, but they are both predator and prey. They eat blooms and algae, and they are food for a variety of critters, including birds, fish, snakes, and more.
2. They are an indicator species. They thrive in freshwater habitats and need suitable land to survive. They are also thin-skinned and highly permeable, so they can absorb chemicals and other toxins, such as bacteria.
3. Don’t like mosquitoes? Well, who does? They help control insect populations, not only grabbing them for chow but also eating the larvae which can transmit diseases.
4. Some poisonous frog toxins are currently being researched for their potential to create other drugs.
Frog species are hurting. They need clean, fresh water and uncontaminated land. How can we help? Be mindful of them in your landscapes. Many gardeners I know leave dishes of water for them in the garden. Frogs and toads sing and create a chorus of sound from spring through fall, especially enchanting at dusk. When hiking, leave them alone in their habitats. If you have children who like to pick them up, remind them that frogs and toads are thin-skinned and gently place them back down to the ground.
What can we do to help? Pick your favorite species. If frogs happen to be one of them, follow the links above and help in a local frog watch. If another critter has your heart and your eye, there are so many conservation organizations to search for that offer detailed information about a species.
Wildlife needs us whether we like them or not. James Hillman in Dream Animals suggests that sometimes critters come into our dreams for their sake, not ours. They have something to share with us, maybe even ask us for help. So many species are seriously threatened, including frogs. What action can you take today to make a difference for wildlife, for nature? Do you dream of frogs? Got a favorite frog or nature story to share? I enjoy hearing from you.
All comments are appreciated. Thanks. Judith