Listen to Pilot Light

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The attack of the moo frogs

I wrote previously about the onset of the rains. One contingent that is particularly please about the arrival of rainy season can loosely be grouped together as critters. The critters are vocal in their appreciation. The birds sing more loudly in the mornings, the insects chirp happily, the bats and birds joyously hunt down the bugs and, after each drenching, we get a rousing chorus of deep harmonies from the moo frogs. So, you see, actually they sing, not attack, but in our global culture, I thought more people might read about attacking frogs than pleasantly singing frogs.

Now I suppose most of you are not familiar with the Cambodian moo frog, so I will point out that this is just the name that we have give to the frogs who, well say moo. We have encountered two types in Cambodia (and none anywhere else). The Koh Kong moo frog sounds exactly like a cow. Last rainy season, after the first big rain, we were sitting at an outside restaurant wondering where the cows were that we heard. The Kampot moo frog must be its Scottish cousin, because they add a bit of a burr to the sound, something like the last note from a bagpipe.

The picture above shows the kind of place they love. This is basically what passes for our front yard. Counting voices out there, in the evening there are a lot of moo frogs out there. By the way, these fellas are LOUD and enthusiastic. Fortunately, they sing in the same key, use related rhythmic patterns and when there are a lot of them, sound more like monks chanting than actual cows.

Now this is not a moo frog, but I felt morally obligated to include a picture of a frog and we have never actually seen a moo frog. I tried to get a picture last night, wading out through the swampy grass, when I learned that when you get within about fifty feet of them, they go silent.

I haven't a clue what kind of frog this is, other than they live on our porch and think it fun to jump out and land on you when you are sitting in the dark, thinking or having a nightcap. If they land on your bare back it can be spooky, especially the first time. I took this one of one who is hanging on the wall. He likes to live under seat cushions. One kept crawling in my dive boot until I accidentally took a step with both of sharing the boot.

Ah life in the country.