Posts Tagged ‘nature’

sc 166 “Night of the Peepers.”

May 2, 2011

Toppie ventures outside into the night to capture the sound of Spring Peepers.

Noun 1. Spring Peeper  – a small brown tree toad having a shrill call heard near wetlands of eastern United States and Canada in early spring.  The Hyla crucifer tree toad  – arboreal amphibians usually having adhesive disks at the tip of each toe; of southeast Asia and Australia and America.  Genus Hyla – the type genus of the Hylidae; tree toads.

Toppie did not know that peepers are toads, not frogs (he finds this hard to believe, but what does he know?), but he grew up hearing the creatures sing their once-a-year song until he left Podunk Junction for the big city of Rochester, NY.

As heard in the Smellcast, episode 157, Toppie actually has a Zoom recorder — but truth to tell — he hasn’t yet learned how to use it.  So instead, one fine Spring night just days ago, Toppie grabbed his trusty old video camera to capture a wonderful night sound-scape, switching back and forth from the camera’s condenser mic to a shot-gun mic.

Listen for the trill of an unknown creature — likely some kind of frog (most likely not a Peeper — or maybe like the Peeper — another toad species).  A goose flies by and then fade to silence.

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Click the link below to listen to the Smellcast, episode 166.

The Smellcast/Episode 166

sc 108 My Father’s Bro’mance.

September 4, 2010

Toppie tells the bro’mance story of his father’s farewell to an old friend.  Plus, an audio greeting from the Fey Driver!

Above is a picture showing the growth of the forest on Connecticut Hill, something I go into detail about in the podcast. — Toppie

And above, you can see the stone for my father’s friend, cradled in its wooden sled ready for me to pull it up into the woods.  — Toppie

And a reminder to write down (or record) your spooky story and send it to for a Halloween reading all during the month of October.

For history buffs: With regards to Connecticut Hill, I tried to find information about why this piece of land in NY is called “Connecticut Hill.”  After several hours of research this was the best I could find:

The western boundaries of Connecticut have been subject to change over time. According to the Hartford Treaty with the Dutch, signed on September 19, 1650, but never ratified by the British, the western boundary of Connecticut ran north from Greenwich Bay for a distance of 20 miles[21][22]  “provided the said line come not within 10 miles (16 km) [16 km] of Hudson River. This agreement was observed by both sides until war erupted between England and The Netherlands in 1652. No other limits were found. Conflict over uncertain colonial limits continued until the Duke of York captured New Netherland in 1664.”[21][22] On the other hand, Connecticut’s original Charter in 1662 granted it all the land to the “South Sea”, i.e. the Pacific Ocean.[23][24]  Most colonial royal grants were for long east-west strips. Connecticut took its grant seriously, and established a ninth county between the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers, named Westmoreland County. This resulted in the brief Pennamite Wars with Pennsylvania.

Connecticut’s lands also extended across northern Ohio, called the Western Reserve lands. The Western Reserve section was settled largely by people from Connecticut, and they brought Connecticut place names to Ohio. Agreements with Pennsylvania and New York extinguished the land claims by Connecticut within its neighbors, and the Western Reserve lands were relinquished to the federal government, which brought the state to its present boundaries.

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Please click the link below to listen to the Smellcast, episode 108.

The Smellcast/Episode 108