Frogs of Irchel

A busy corner of the pond at Irchel Park in Zürich.

On an extended version of my morning walk today I took a new route, one that took me through the Irchel campus of the University of Zürich, including the lovely Irchel Park.  A few joggers and strollers were out, with most people pausing at the duck pond to enjoy the lovely morning and a view of the new ducklings.

The dominant feature, however, was the incredible din of the frogs.  From every corner of the pond, dozens could be heard croaking away among the reeds.  I’m familiar with this phenomenon – I love to hear “peeper season” arrive in Lyme, usually in late May and early June.  But these croakers were different – croaking Deutsch, I suppose.  (Listen to the video.)

I spent a good ten minutes searching a small patch of reeds before I actually saw any of them, despite their noisy business. I then spent a motionless ten minutes staring down one fellow – who motionlessly started right back at me – before he decided I was not interested in taking him to lunch, and he finally demonstrated his technique, in the sequence below, and in this video!  See the gallery for full-res images.

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Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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