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"When peepers sing..."

Posted by Smokey Stoverd on February 18, 2004

In Reply to: "When peepers sing..." posted by ESC on February 18, 2004

: : Hello,
: : Can anyone tell me anything about this phrase? I am wondering what kind of bird they mean and the origin of the saying...

: : "When peepers sing loud and long and late, the weather will cooperate."

: : Thank you!
: : Lorie

: I'll look and see if I can find this one under weather-related sayings. One thing I am wondering about is whether "peepers" refers to birds or crickets.

This is one of those occasions when we need a specialist. (Do not trust dictionaries on this one.) The quotation refers to an amphibian, either the tree frog or a small aquatic frog. Each species sings long and loudly in the spring, the tree frog at night and the aquatic peeper during the day (and perhaps at night--I never spent my nights near their habitat). Each species is sometimes known as a Spring Peeper. You probably know that amphibians, especially frogs, have been hard hit by environmental degradation. Aquatic peepers may have become so scarce that you may never hear one. But I have no doubt that everyone reading this has heard tree frogs aplenty. Strangely enough, they live in trees, so you may have thought you were hearing an insect. SS