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Backyard Quartet

I’ve decided that my alarm clock is fairly useless to me during the months of May and June. As the sun rises earlier and it starts turning light by 5:00 a.m., there is an unusual backyard quartet that meets the dawning day with unabashed and persistent gusto. Read: waking me from a sound sleep.

I’m talking about the curious combination of the Carolina Wren, the House Wren, the Cardinal and Lithobates clamitans melanota (a.k.a. – the northern green frog). The Carolina starts first with a bursting clarion call of “Teakettle, teakettle, teakettle!” This is normally sung from the ledge just outside our open bedroom window. The smaller House Wren, not to be outdone, joins with its long, jumbled, bubbling song. As soon as the Carolina opens its beak, the House Wren is a second behind. Then, Mr. Cardinal wants in on the action. At crystal clear pitch and loud volume, he sings, “Birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie!”

The quartet wouldn’t be complete, of course, without the burps and chuckles of our amphibian neighbor, Mr. Clamitans. Northern Green FrogA wannabe drummer, his unsteady thumping adds depth and interest to the quartet’s morning song. Tirelessly they sing, on and on as the day dawns, shifting order and inflection to make their tune memorable and so loud that we poor humans are left with nothing to do but to get out of bed!!

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