Summer Night Symphony

Summer Night Symphony

Darkness begins its descent,
Enveloping the woods behind the house,
And then it begins—
The rhythmic trills of the tree frogs
Breaking open the serenity of the night.

Hyla Versicolor—the northern gray tree frog–
Its color changing with the temperature,
Light green to dark gray,
Clinging to the bark of the pines
With its large sticky toe pads,
All but invisible in the light of day.
Impossible to ignore in the blackness of night.

The tree frogs were apparently there last April,
Having emerged in secret from their burrows
After hibernating all winter under logs and branches,
Freezing until spring.
Then in May came the mating as they left the trees,
Laying eggs in pools of water,
Froglets appearing in the warmth of the summer sun.

Now in late August they fill the night
With their monotonous sound,
And I stand at the open window and listen,
The trilling taking me for a moment back in time
When I was a child of ten, tucked into my bed,
Bedroom windows open to the cool summer night air,
Listening to the peepers in the swamp across the road
Soothed to sleep by the lullaby of nature.

Just before dawn the summer symphony ends,
The sweet night sedative gone for now.
Soon the cold will follow,
The tree frogs will be gone until next spring,
Their frenetic energy stilled,
And the winter nights will be silent
As we wait for the certainty of nature’s music to begin again.

© Barbara Flass 2011