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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Froggy Memories of Crivitz

In 1983, I was living in Crivitz, Wisconsin after having started driving trucks for a living about 3 years earlier in Milwaukee. Finally in a position to buy a decent house, I found one for sale less than a mile outside of town and bought it. One of only three houses on a heavily wooded "block", I was on a corner and had about 3 1/2 acres of land. The elderly couple that lived next to me also had more than 3 acres, so our houses were a good distance apart. Some of the land between us was pretty low and during the late winter snow melt and spring rains that area was more like a marshy wetland until it would dry out later in the summer.

As you can imagine, that provided excellent breeding conditions for mosquitoes which I had to learn to live with, especially during the spring to mid-summer months. But, I bought a good sprayer and between using that and repellents, it wasn’t too bad.

What I remember most about being next to that lowland was the abundant frog population it supported. The original house I bought was decades old and, at that time, had a recent two story addition built on the back. It led up to a master bedroom, bath and another bedroom on the second floor. There were no heating ducts going up and the space was heated by convection from downstairs. I was used to sleeping in a cold room and stayed warm under a large quilt.

A few weeks every March and April, brought the frog mating season and right about dusk they would start their mating calls, the croaking noise would be unbelievably loud. And I loved it! Most days when I was local, my job required early morning starts, so I would usually have to be in bed right about dusk. I would open the 4 bedroom windows up and crawl under that quilt on the bed and try to stay awake for a while listening to them. I can’t ever remember sleeping so soundly in my life as when those croaking frogs would put me to sleep. The temp would fall into the 40’s usually at night during that time of year, but I never got cold. That is, until I had to get up at about 3AM in the morning!

What surprised me was that the area was normally dead quiet at night. I was far enough away from the main county road that I never heard traffic and being able to sleep so soundly with all the noise those frogs made was astonishing to me.

Those were some great memories. That house is still there, I sold it to a County Sheriff's Deputy in 1993 before moving to Utah. He went on to build a horse corral there and raised a few horses. Wish I could buy it back.

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