David Clements’ frog researcher Sterling Balzer found his first red-legged frog egg mass on Feb. 15.

Green Beat: Spring has sprung and the frog research is hopping

Many signs in the natural world show that spring is already here

It’s a special time of year here on the west coast.

The time of year when our boasting about signs of spring gets us into trouble with fellow Canadians to the east.

When I mentioned floral signs of spring to a friend who just moved from the west coast to Ontario he replied: “It is still winter here so please don’t talk to me too much about flowers blooming!”

Over the last few days, I’ve been seeing signs of spring everywhere.

The first camellia just burst into bloom in our front garden. The crocuses and daffodils have been showing their colours for a while. The blossoms on the cherry trees that line some of our boulevards are about to burst or have already.

Now wild blossoms also join the scene: salmonberry flowers, alder catkins and the enigmatic white Indian plum blossoms in cascading clusters.

And the bird songs are changing. Just yesterday I said to my wife, “listen to that trill!”

The short chirping calls of the dark-eyed junco was giving way to the sweet trill heard in spring. Likewise, chickadee chittering is changing to “hey sweetie.”

Yes, there is a clear message here — it’s springtime when thoughts turn to romance, in the bird world and elsewhere.

If you listen very carefully, you might be able to discern the sound of the Northern red-legged frog coming from underwater. Yes, I said underwater.

An online guide describes the call as “a weak series of five to seven notes, sounding like uh-uh-uh-uh-uh” adding that “calls are made underwater and are easily missed.” Last year my frog researcher Curtis Abney actually heard the call.

This year my new frog researcher, Sterling Balzer, is jumping from pond to pond. The day after Valentine’s Day he found his first red-legged frog egg mass.

So like last year, spring has sprung early in the frog world here, a potential harbinger of climate change.

Geese are starting to fly overhead and V’s and other migratory birds are soon to arrive to build their spring nests, but birds of prey tend to get the head start. I have spotted a pair of nesting American kestrels on my way to work.

It is an awesome time to experience the yearly renewing of the earth.

And if you do see a particularly exceptional sign of spring, post a photo on Facebook so your snowbound friends and relatives can maybe enjoy it too.

David Clements, Ph.D. is Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Trinity Western University

Just Posted

Top 10 Langley City attractions listed

Discover Langley City unveils first City-centric promotional pamphlet

Langley man wins dismissal of charge for failing to remain at accident scene

Driver said he didn’t realize he’d hit 62-year-old man

Meeting at Langley Seniors Centre about embracing technology

Langley Seniors Community Action Table welcomes speaker March 21

Fraser Valley real estate predicted to slow down in 2018

B.C. Real Estate Association forecasts a cooling market

Vancouver Giants honour their own

Team Awards handed out prior to Friday’s game versus Kelowna

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read