Tuesday Tunes: The Whistling Tree Frogs of Bermuda

The song of the Whistling Tree Frog is one of the infamous sounds of a Bermuda night.  These tiny creatures create a beautiful evening sound as they accompany the gentle breezes with their sweet symphony—all from the sound of a cent!  “Gleep, gleep.” Only about the size of a thumbnail, the tree frogs are slight in stature but big in presence. If you’re lucky enough to see one, you’ll be surprised to discover that such a big noise can come from such a small amphibian. There are two species of Whistling Frogs (Tree Frogs) in Bermuda. The Eleutherodactylus johnstonei and Eleutherodactylus gossei, the first of the two is more common and smaller while the other has almost disappeared. Both are brownish, nocturnal, living in trees near the ground and by day hiding under stones and leaves. They are one of the most characteristic night sounds of Bermuda between April and November. They can be heard island-wide when the weather is warm enough (above 69 degrees) but are most common in the Parishes of Devonshire, Paget, Pembroke and Warwick. They are not indigenous – both were introduced accidentally sometime prior to 1880, most likely on orchids imported from the Lesser Antilles. They can be found elsewhere in temperate and sub-tropical regions, but mainly can be found singing loudly at night. Here’s a snippet of the enchanting Tree Frogs’ melody.  Enjoy!

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Inner Peace

  “Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.” ~Pema Chödrön     “There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” ~Epictetus   “In the process of letting go you will lose many things from […]

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Teacup Bird Feeders

I grew up in an environment of “old stuff”–old houses and barns, antique furniture, and heirloom quilts and china.  My grandparents lived next door in the family’s ancestral home, and Grandma Rieley loved antiques.  Almost every Saturday morning she was either at an estate sale, yard sale, or antiques store.  All of this influenced my appreciation and love of antiques and “old stuff” in general.  So, when I ran across this craft idea for making a bird feeder from a vintage teacup and saucer, I loved it! This would be a fun craft activity to do with older children (with adult supervision), a charming homemade gift for Mother’s Day, or even a hostess gift for a bird lover or gardener.  It’s fairly straightforward, only requiring a few items. Gather: 1.  Teacup and saucer–This can be anything you have on hand, mismatched or otherwise.  I found a few individual vintage teacups and saucers at a local antiques store for $10.00 or less. 2.  Sandpaper 3.  Super adhesive glue–I used E6000. 4.  Twine, string, or yarn 5.  Birdseed–My birds seem to like a sunflower and safflower seed mix. Directions: 1.  Thoroughly wash and dry teacup and saucer. 2.  Use sandpaper to scratch teacup and saucer where the two surfaces meet.  This helps them to adhere together once glued. 3.  Squeeze a small amount of glue onto the surface of the saucer.  Next, tip teacup onto its side and place on top of […]

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Sea-Fever

“Sea-Fever,” 11 x 14 acrylic on canvas by Tonya R. Hengerer Sea-Fever by John Masefield I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s       […]

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Force of Nature

  A few weeks ago, I decided to coax cuttings of a flowering cherry tree into an early performance in order to speed up spring. Persuading plants to flower out of season is known as forcing.  You can either trim branches from your yard or buy them from a florist.  There are a number of flowering trees and shrubs that you can choose for your trimmings.  I have a flowering cherry tree in my front yard.  So, that’s what I used. However, flowering dogwood, redbud, flowering dogwood, saucer magnolia, flowering quince, or forsythia work well, too. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 1.  Prune on a mild, late-winter day.  Branches are more pliable when temperatures are above freezing.  Most spring bloomers form flower buds on the previous season’s growth. 2.  Look for crowded branches that are no more than 1/2 inch in diameter, with numerous round, plump flower buds.  Thinning is okay. 3.  Place branches in fairly hot tap water, and recut at an angle.  Next, place in a bucket of water with floral preservative.  Store in a cool, dimly lit area like a porch or garage to ease the transition indoors. 4.  When buds begin to swell, bring branches indoors.  Set arrangements in a bright area away from direct sunlight and heating vents.  Change water daily. 5.  Celebrate spring early!  After all, you just fooled Mother Nature.    

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Warm Woolly Sheep

  Quiet, cold, and crystal clear.  This is the Green Hill Farm I woke up to on Saturday morning–the first snowfall of the season.  And, there’s nothing like the serene beauty of the country when it’s blanketed with snow.  All of the hustle and bustle and noise just seem to stop.  I breathed in the peaceful views while realizing that […]

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