Signs of spring at the Goldovitz Bog

Mar 27, 2023

MARION — At the Goldovitz Bog in Marion, a chorus of Spring Peepers echoed through the trees and reeds on Sunday, March 26.

Unfortunately, for the intrepid hikers and frog-spotters with the Sippican Lands Trust, the little brown frogs were nowhere to be seen.

The group was led by Alan Harris, a past president of the Sippican Lands Trust. They were on the lookout for early-season frogs, Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs.

Much like their name implies, Spring Peepers make a high-pitched peeping sound, while Wood Frogs have a call akin to a revving engine or a “bark,” said Harris.

The only sound close to that of an engine was overheard from the nearby cars on Route 6.

Harris led the group through the woods, past a water basin used in a former cranberry bog on the property, and past the remains of an old shack that once housed the farm manager.

After a short eight-minute walk, the group encountered a shallow lagoon lined with reeds and with twisting branches and broken logs scattered throughout.

The chorus of peepers was at first deafening and quickly fell silent as the hikers approached.

“They’re smart little things,” said hiker Anita Silva. “They all quieted down and hid when they saw us.”

Even though the bog’s Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs stayed out of sight, the group caught a few signs of spring along their walk.

“I’m pretty sure that’s otter scat,” said Harris, spotting the small pile on a causeway between two bodies of water. “You’ve got all sorts of little shells here [in the scat].”

Harris pointed out an “otter slide” in the dirt that led down to a flowing stream, giving otters access.

“It looks like there’s another slide over here,” said Silva, pointing to the other side of the causeway.

“They probably go back and forth between the two [bodies of water],” said Harris.

When a cranberry bog is restored to more closely resemble a natural marsh, animals often return, said Brian Freyermuth, Sippican Lands Trust Vice President.

On the walk back to the parking area, Harris noticed deer tracks in the mud and grackles, a type of black bird, flying above.

Still, even though the bog’s frogs were tucked away, out of sight, their calls filled the air.

“This loud chorus lets you know that life is on its way,” said Harris. “It’s exciting.”