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Big Run peepers on the brink of their latest recorded first appearance

April 1, 2013

Jeff London, the Big Run frog forecaster is pictured checking the swamp behind his carpet store in Big Run for the peepers. The peepers still haven’t peeped — the annual sign of spring’s arrival — and if they make it through today without doing so, it’ll be the latest they’ve ever peeped since London’s late father, John, started keeping track of the frogcasters’ appearances. (Photo by Larry McGuire of The Spirit)

BIG RUN — It has now been over two weeks since spring officially arrived on the calendar, and still, there's been nary a peep from the peeper frogs in Big Run, which is how most locals decide whether or not spring has officially arrived.

"It's hard to believe that we still haven't heard the tiny frogs announce the arrival of spring," said Jeff London, owner of Big Run Carpet and now resident Peeper watcher.

London said the average first day of peeping has been on March 20, the date for the official arrival of spring as far as the calendar is concerned.

"The latest that the frogs have ever peeped is (today), April 2," London said, adding that the frogs miss his dad John London, the original peeper watcher who passed away last year.

London said he didn't realize what an awesome responsibility he had when he took over for his father.

"I have people coming up to me wherever I go asking as to 'when I'm going to get the frogs up,'" he said. "Everybody's ready for spring."
London said everyone will know when it happens, because the peepers are extremely loud.

"There are some people to the south who contacted me over the weekend, and said their Peeper frogs have begun announcing the arrival of spring," he said.

Wanda Schmaus, from upper Juneau, reported to The Spirit Sunday evening that the peepers in her area have begun to peep.

London said with the frogs not peeping until the latest time ever, they obviously understood what Punxsy Phil said, even if Bill Deeley, Groundhog Club Inner Circle president, didn't.

"From groundhog to amphibian, there apparently was no problems in the translation," London said.

He said when the tiny frogs do peep, it will still be the first time they look through glass with two more to go.

"For my first ever frogcast, I predict that the frogs will peep on Friday or Saturday of this week, as the weather begins to warm up a bit," London said.

He said no matter what day of the week or what time it is that they peep, he'll get the information to everyone immediately.

“So hang in there. We might have some good news for everyone by the end of the week," London said.

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