Audio Guide to Spring: June 12

Jun 12, 2020

June is the peak time of year to hear green frogs calling.
Credit Baroness / Creative Commons

Green frogs

The rest of June is the peak time of year to hear green frogs calling.  “Green frog” is actually a species name.  These frogs might be green, yellow, olive or brown.

Kathy Gray, who volunteers with the Michigan DNR Frog and Toad Survey says, “it’s only the males who sing and they are trying to attract a female. That is how they sound. Like a banjo string. Just one kind-of-not-in-tune banjo string being plucked.”

Kathy says frogs are quite sensitive to air temperature.  Their calling will be the most boisterous when the air temperature at sunset is 65 degrees or warmer.

Sandhill cranes now out with their colts. A young sandhill crane is called a colt because of its long legs.
Credit Bill Erickson

Sandhill Cranes

You may be seeing sandhill cranes now out with their colts. A young sandhill crane is called a colt because of its long legs.  Sandhill cranes can reach four feet in height.

They have an evolutionary link to dinosaurs and have been around for 2.5 million years.

The young sandhill cranes are born at the end of April or early May and are becoming more mobile, which can be a hazard.

Brian Allen, with Saving Birds Thru Habitat, once saw a sandhill crane attack a car.

“The car was stopping and it got too close," Allen says. "It jumped up and landed on the hood of the car and was bugling and flapping its wings at the people inside. I wish I would have had a video of that. It was a pretty amazing sight.”

You can see sandhill cranes at the Elberta Marsh in Elberta, Tobego Marsh near Traverse City as well as big open wetlands and farm fields.

It's strawberry time in Northern Michigan!
Credit Brian Prechtel / USDA/ARS via CC

Strawberries

And finally on the farm this coming week, the strawberry harvest should be in full swing. They were already picking Tuesday at Grossnickle Farms in Kaleva.

Candy Grossnickle says the heat last week and at the beginning of this week moved the crop along quickly, “We are on sand, so we’re normally a little bit earlier. This heat pushes them along. Probaby by the weekend we’ll be into them a little heavier.”

Let us know what you’re seeing, what you’re looking for or wondering about.  Our comment line is 231-276-4444.