Out of the swampy murk at Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area near Columbus, Minn., green tufts of grass are starting to pop out of ponds. It's beginning to look a lot like spring. If you close your eyes, it's beginning to sound even more like spring.
The frogs are out. Spring peepers, boreal chorus frogs, and wood frogs are all practicing their mating calls.
Jeff LeClere works for the county biological survey arm of the Department of Natural Resources. He grew up in Iowa, where he had an early interest in dinosaurs, and when he found out his backyard was never going to house a T-Rex, he switched his focus to reptiles and amphibians.
LeClere remembers walking along streams, and turning over rocks looking for snakes and frogs.
LeClere's childhood hobbies have come full circle, because he's now an amphibian and reptile specialist for the DNR. Part of his job is to seek out where different Minnesota frog and snake species are living.
LeClere says almost all the frog calls people hear are "advertisement calls" given by males to lure a mate. Judging from the noise level at Carlos Avery, there are a lot of lovelorn frogs out there.