Rice Paddy Symphony

rice-paddy-in-june

Did you know that rice paddies are noisy at night? I’ve been here at my in-laws in August and heard the frogs but this is my first time to visit in June. The paddy is full of tadpoles and within the last few days, the green tree frogs (Miyama Aogaeru) started to croak. I didn’t realize the forest that surrounds us up here in the mountains was so full of frogs. I tried to get a picture but the little green guys don’t like to be found. The dark-spotted pond frogs (shimagaeru) in the rice paddy were not eager to show their faces either. I asked kindly and finally one poked its head above water. Can you see it in the picture?
shimagaeru

Scroll down to the bottom for a close-up. You can listen here to find just how noisy they are at night. Before you listen, let me warn you it is a long track (5 and half minutes) because I wanted to get the whole cycle from relative quiet to cacophony and back to quiet again. In the beginning you can hear the roar of the river behind a few low croaks from the tree frogs. So, no, the static-like noise you hear in the background is not from a bad recording. If you have the patience, listen to the frog song increase little by little. If you don’t have patience then fast forward to 1:30 because at 1:35 you’ll hear the rest of the pond frogs join in until you can only barely hear the river. It finally quiets down again just after the 5:00 mark to a few croaks.

This repeats over and over all night from sun down to sun up. Maybe that is not 100% accurate. I was awake at 4:00 just before sun rise and it was quiet. Of course then the birds started…I’ll save that for another day!
shimagaeru-closeup

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Marci. When I'm not writing, building websites, or coaching clients, I love walking the streets of Japan and discovering spirit in all shapes and forms. Here on the blog, you'll also get a peek into what it is like to live with and care for my Japanese father-in-law who has Alzheimer’s. Enjoy!

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2 Comments

  1. Yuko on June 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Thank you for the wonderful recordning! It took me to a far country-side vacation while I was listening it with closed eyes, so I felt 5 minutes was really short. For me, it was a great symphony of frogs.
    Actually not only by my personal feeling, but by scientific research now it is said that frogs’ chorus would have mathmatical formula, so it’s not just cacophony! Please check the site below. It is a new paper of mathmatics.
    http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140127/srep03891/full/srep03891.html
    I know it’s too technical, I can’t understand them, either. So here is much easier explanation, though it is written in Japanese.
    http://www.nhk.or.jp/kaisetsu-blog/700/188033.html.

    • Marci on June 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      I’m so glad you liked this! In fact, I made this post with you in mind, Yuko! The scientific article you found is fascinating. I love the rhythm of the frogs and don’t really think it is cacophony. I will check out the Japanese article next.

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