A neighbor called police complaining Debbie Alsip was jamming out to loud music, but it turned out to be the neighborhood frogs who were getting down.
Twice this month a neighbor has called Baraboo police to complain about loud music coming from the backyard of Debbie and Jeff Alsip’s Rivercrest Drive home. The responding officer found the culprits weren’t the Alsips, but frogs sounding mating calls at full throat. Among amorous amphibians, the Alsips’ koi pond is Baraboo’s answer to Studio 54.
“Every spring, this happens,” Debbie Alsip said. “It has woke (sic) us up before, if we have our windows open.”
Alsip said the frogs emit a loud, shrill sound as they seek out mates. When officer Mike Pichler arrived Sunday, he found about a dozen frogs at the pond. He saw a couple of them develop large bulges in their throats as they croaked to one another, and spotted one pair of horny toads mating. “You don’t see that many frogs at one time unless they’re mating,” Alsip said.
A neighbor whose back yard abuts the Alsips’ claimed the couple was pumping in music for ambience, and the noise was interrupting his sleep.
Pichler reported he could hear the noise from his parked squad, but soon learned the mood music wasn’t of the Alsips’ making. He explained the situation to their neighbor, who felt the Alsips should shoo the frogs along.
Debbie Alsip has lived at the home since 1981. In 1994 she added the 8-foot-by-8-foot pond, which typically is home only to 11 koi — domesticated Japanese carp — and a goldfish. But each spring, female frogs come to find Mr. Right and lay their eggs.
Alsip pleads not guilty to aiding and abetting amphibious action.
“I don’t know how I’m encouraging them,” she said about the neighbor’s complaints. “If he thinks I’m going to catch them and take them out, he’s crazy.”