Mists are rising from melting snow. Skunk cabbage flowers emerge from icy swamps. And up and down the Housatonic Valley in western Massachusetts, a long anticipated harbinger of Spring echos in our rugged hills. Today I received this e-mail from conservation stalwart Shep Evans of Stockbridge, Massachusetts:
"Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of all ages, the
time has come –after a strange and cold winter - for
another fun filled cliffhanger of a competition that
will limber up your biological clock and test your
auditory acuity like none other.
It is, of course …
THE NINTH ANNUAL
SPRING PEEPER STAMPEDE
Again, in this year of 2007, I will treat two
important people to luncheon at the famous
RED LION INN in Stockbridge:
A. The person who most accurately predicts the date
and exact time that spring peepers will first be heard
anywhere in the Housatonic watershed in Massachusetts
this spring, and.....
B. The first person to actually hear and report spring
peepers anywhere in the Housatonic watershed in
Massachusetts this spring...
HERE ARE THE RULES (Read carefully, please):
A. Predictors must e-mail their prediction of the DATE
and TIME of the first peeping together with their NAME
and MAILING ADDRESS to me, Shep Evans, at least 24
hours before the first peepers are heard peeping.
My e-mail address is shepevans AT yahoo DOT com.
B. Only one prediction entry per person, please,
consisting of the predicted DATE and TIME and your
NAME and ADDRESS.
C. Hearers must notify me, Shep Evans, by e-mail
within 24 hours of first hearing Spring Peepers with
the DATE, TIME, PLACE OF HEARING PEEPERS and
the NAME OF A WITNESS, plus the HEARER's NAME &
Again, my e-mail address is shepevans AT yahoo DOT com.
D. The hearer need not be a resident of our Housatonic
Watershed in Massachusetts, but the peepers heard must
be peeping here.
E. People reporting hearing peepers, must have an
identified witness of the hearing. No exceptions!
F. If the same person wins both the predicting and the
hearing (this actually happened once), that winner
gets to bring a friend to luncheon.
G. In case of a tie, the judges will invent a run-off
to determine the winner.
H. The results will be publicized to all participants,
and all entries will be available for inspection,
after our luncheon.
J. Winners of any of the previous three years’ Spring
Peeper Stampedes, either predicting or hearing, are
not eligible for this years contest. Winners of three
prior Spring Peeper Stampedes (any year), either
predicting or hearing, are retired from competition.
All prior winners will be encouraged to join us for
lunch when the time comes.
Good luck, and pray for warm rainy nights!"
Those of you fortunate to be reading this within a 50 mile radius of Stockbridge should not pass up the opportunity to drive (with a friend) with your windows down the next night it rains and is above 40 degrees. The rest of you, get your predictions in to Shep and welcome Spring!