Sunday, June 08, 2014

Health of The Dismal Swamp

Great Dismal Swamp
36 31.453 N 076 21.879

We spent Friday night at our favorite anchorage.  A place so beautiful that we marked the GPS waypoint "Pearly Gates"  It is a place guaranteed to calm the most agitated soul.

But this time, one of the Pearly's best spectacles didn't appear -- the frog chorus.   On a previous visit, we sat and listened.  After a time, one frog would start to croak.  Then another would join and another.  Within a couple of minutes the local colony of a hundred or so frogs would all be making as much noise as they could.  It was overwheming.  The chorus lasted about 10 minutes, then it tapered off and ceased.  But not entirely,  the next colony of frogs a few hundred meters down the river would have been stimiulated, and they started their own chrous.   For nearly an hour, we could hear a series of choruses from farther and farther away.  It was like a frog smoke signal relay.  Then the locals would start again.

This time, nothing. Only an isolated frog croak once in a while.  My theory is that it is all sexual.  In the spring they croak like mad.  As each frog gets laid, it is satiated and it stops joining the chorus.  In the previous trips, we were there earlier in the spring.

We saw a furry animal swim by.  It could have been an otter or a nutria.  Both populate the area.  

I was surprised at how few birds we heard, mostly one at a time (even at dwan).  After dark we heard a few crickets, but not many.  There were also a few mosquitoes after dark, but no clouds of insects.  I began to get concern ed for the health of the Dismal Swamp wildlife.  But I talked to a forest ranger at the Visistor's Center today and he said, the health is just fine.  Good.

Friday Elizabeth City, Friday Night Pearly Gates, Saturday Dismal Swamp Welcome Center, tonight Hampton Roads anchorage.  Monday (hopefully) out to sea,  Wednesday (hopefully) New York City.


1 comment:

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