The spring peepers, otherwise known as pinkeltinks, are back. After an especially long and cold winter, the sounds of springtime have invaded West Tisbury, surprisingly, several days earlier than last year.
Alex Goethals, of West Tisbury, heard them about 5 pm, Thursday and emailed The Times. “I was working and could hear them from inside [my] house. They are very loud… [and] I live next to a swampy area, so the sound is unavoidable.”
Nancy-Alyce Abbott, of West Tisbury, first heard them around 6:45 pm that same day. Her son Brian heard them and gave a shout, leading Ms. Abbott onto her back porch, which is right off Lambert’s Cove Road, to hear for herself.
“I have been keeping an ear out for them,” she said. “I have kept track of when I have heard them in past years, so I knew it would be anytime now. They usually start ‘singing’ just after sunset, and they really like rainy weather.” Thursday evening was mild and rainy.
Mr. Goethals and Ms. Abbott have competed in past years to see who can hear the tiny frogs first, then alert the media. This year was no exception, as both heard them on the same day. Mr Goethals, though, was quickest by about two hours. His email to The Times office was time stamped at 4:55 pm; Ms. Abbott’s was 7:08 pm, giving Mr Goethals the unofficial crown for yet another year.
Sandy Fisher called Friday morning and left a message in which she reported hearing the peepers about 8 pm.
One day later, Oak Bluffs peepers joined the chorus. The Times received the following email at 8 pm, Friday: “ER night shift reporting in — pinkeltinks audible from hospital parking lot. First of spring?”
For more background on the the history of the friendly race, or the spring peepers, check out our article last year: Jeepers, creepers, Martha’s Vineyard loves its spring peepers.