Yes, there is ALWAYS! a story underlying everything which I do.

I just rarely tell what it is, exactly, that is going on.

Nobody ever believes me, anyway, so I see no purpose, most of the time.

In the case of the Cocqui frogs there are, indeed, a number of stories, one, or two, of which I will tell you right now, while I have just a few moments between appointments.

I, probably not unlike you, had NEVER heard of a Cocqui frog in my life.

I must confess, also, that although I have sat among literally thousands, if not tens of thousands of these little frogs, while recording them, I never have, to date EVER seen one!

Now, you must admit, that is REALLY weird.

It is like those Coyotes which I never see, but always hear, and often right nearby.

If I did not have tape recordings of these tiny frogs, I would not be sure that these little creatures even are real.

I first met them on a return trip from several weeks in the western Mediterranean region.

Somebody came up with the idea of taking a stopover on the return trip for five days in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before returning to LAX.

A very good idea, as it turned out.

So, as I am getting ready to go to bed I keep hearing these little cricket-like sounds coming from a ravine right behind the hotel in which I am staying.

I heard them all night long and wondered what in the world they are.

Well, it doesn't take long, while traveling around Puerto Rico for you to find out that you are in a land of Cocqui frog worhsippers.

Their little faces can be found in nearly every single tourist shop you are likely ever to go to.

T-shirts, coffee mugs, purses, and you name it, each with it's very own Cocqui frog emblazoned upon it.

It seemed like a sort of a national animal, like the Grizzly bear is to my state of California.

After leaving the island I came back home and got on the internet to find out more about these little animals of which I had never even heard of, much less seen, or been in the company of.

Now, I must warn you in advance, this is where things are going to begin to get even stranger yet.

Because, I found a website which was hosted by the Universtiy of Hawaii, which gave dire warning of the consequences of these horrid little monsters.

It actually told how they are going to destroy the entire food chain by eating certain parts of it out of existence.

After seeing just how hard life was for them in Puerto Rico, while in the wilds, I found this to be just a bit of a stretch to say the least.

So, I continued on, while being just a bit sceptical, as I spied some sound recordings which warned of the horrible sounds these ubiquitous pests make.

Being something of a lifelong sound engineer I was very intrigued to see what they had on the site in terms of nature recordings.

I was not disappointed, as I was treated to what I am pretty sure was a recording of a huge Bullfrog in a swamp in Ventura, posing as this tiny little cricket-like creature.

Only, as you can imagine, a Bullfrog does not sound like a Cocqui frog, disguise it as you may.

You only need to listen to this recording to see what Cocqui frogs sound like.

At the end of this recording is a cacophany of these little animals getting about as noisy and rowdy as they are able.

Still no Bullfrog noises.

After hearing these "unbelievable" (literally) recordings I became obsessed with the quest for the perfect Cocqui frog recording.

I started in Hilo, Hawaii, several years ago where I found a patch of rainforest surrounded by new housing, such that there were probably tens of thousands of these little frogs crammed into this one or two acre parcel.

The sound was deafening.

I became intoxicated and delirious while standing there and wishing that I may just stay on this one exquisite little patch of land from now on.

It was raining, in addition, to the frogs, so that the raindrops made noises while coming through the canopy above, and then splattered on leaves around me.

It was one of the most wondrous experiences I have ever had.

And if you know me well, you will know that this is quite a mouthful to say.

Many, many, wondrous experiences.

Far too many to count.

So after my impromptu Hilo recordings I had to wait about two more years before I was able to get back onto the big island (Hawaii) to search for the whereabouts of these little visitors from Puerto Rico, who will destroy all life, as we know it, just as soon as they are able.

Or, at least, that is what I have been told (over and over, I should tell you).

So, I cruised all over the western side of the island at night searching for pockets of these frogs.

It was really a rather strange experience as I was soon to find out that they prefer human companionship far more than being out away from humans.

So, as I cruised around in a convertible Mustang while listening for where my little hopping friends are hiding, I was soon to find out that they are not hiding at all, for the most part.

But have taken up residence in one yard after another, after another (complete with barking dogs and people peeking out the windows, presumably while getting ready to assualt me for hanging out around their house in the middle of the night, pretty much in the middle of nowhere).

No, problem, I thought to myself.

Just explain that you are hunting for frogs to record.

I am sure they will be quite understanding (NOT!).

As I was pretty sure I heard the ratcheting of guns and the pumping of a pump action shotgun, it is time to move on to find the next patch.

Oh no, not again!


The best of all was an entire fence covered with thousands of these little noisemakers who decided that it was high time that I learned that I am not the only one who knows how to make electronic music.

Their imitiation of a synthesizer run amok was out of this world.

As I tried to get the recording equipment going, sure enough, dogs and guns, again.

So I was not able to get a recording of it.

Maybe some other night.

In the recording you can hear the balmy wind hitting on the foil of the microphone, even with a rather thick windscreen on it.

I placed the high quality stereo recording machine in the tree with the frogs so that they are right next to it, in some, and in others I walk the mikes right up to where I can hear the frogs are located and walk along so that the stereo field is shifting subtly, giving a stronger effect of being there.

These particular recordings were made on the South Kona coast at about 2 a.m.

Sooooooo beautiful.

And I even got to meet a huge wild boar in the middle of the road.

That is one scary sight when you are in a convertible and he looks like he is about to jump in with me.

I think I would have to get out.

And fast.

Well, that is enough for now.

Gotta go again.

It's been fun.



3:22 p.m.
Ventura, California