A Wonderland of Rivers and Forests

Summer Symphony on the Big Piney River

Moving through a lively riffle…

It’s about 5pm when we pull into a favorite campsite that we’ll call home for the next few days.  Little did we know that our first night here would be one of the most memorable nights on the river.

Looking out from under canopy tent

Looking out from under canopy tent toward the pool and the river

With only the slightest chance of rain in the forecast, we still throw up a tarp and then gather fire wood for cooking and the telling…


But tonight, no stories we shall weave…


For we’ll soon be attending a symphony on this early summer eve.
We’ll  have the best seats in the house; our tickets already punched!


As dusk dials to darkness, a pack of Coyotes howl from far away hills.

And then almost in an instant, a Whippoorwill makes a call- this one, long distance

Then maybe a mere minute passes- a Barred Owl hoots from down stream, as if to say, he won’t be left out of this scheme

I’m fist-pumpin’ the air – to this timely trio of twilight surprise!

We both well know this might be a prelude to a classic summer night.

We stoke up the campfire.  Darkness has settled in.


Symphony # 7.9 begins…


Fowler Toads start in with their familiar short, nasally bursts.
It’s a nice surprise to hear them as late as July…




Then the American Toads join in with their long, high-pitched trill.
(they too are usually absent by this time.)




These toads are energized!  These toads are loud!  And their vocals are projecting from at least two locations.  There’s a back channel behind our campsite that loses its flow by summer, but there must be some remaining pools of water because of a particularly very wet spring.

In front of us…

frogs and toads/pool

This little pool is jumpin’ with Life

A residual pool left by spring flood waters, STILL here, filled with toads, and other aquatic wonders-pulsating with life that hearkens back to the primordial Pool of Old.
A MICRO COSMOS right here in our campsite to behold!


So now we have toad music in stereo, and then still farther off to the right on the river,  the Bullfrogs are now hummin’/rummin’ and the Tree Frogs are trillin’.
Wowsers!  This is some kind of special sense-surround sound!


Our amphibious friends were the first vertebrates to vocalize(approx. 400 million years ago)
And OH how they harmonize…

While the Lightning Bugs synchronize(from the woods)…
Occasionally, they drift above our fire, and sometimes hang a beam as they fly across stream…


What a beautiful, glorious night.  I don’t know how it could get better,
UNTIL the sky clears and the stars burst out in compliance.

We stay up late.  The music plays on…

It’s probably around midnight as I start to doze off with a grateful thought…


My regards to the Maestro for a most memorable summer night!


Peace on the River

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