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Brite & Brief

March 13, 1989

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) _ Mating tree frogs don’t look both ways, so Puget Sound biologists are asking motorists to help prevent amphibian lust from turning into highway dust.

″There’s a Pacific tree frog orgy under way, but last night there was carnage on the road in front of my house,″ biologist Diane Robbins, who lives in suburban Parkland, said last week.

Warm weather has started the frogs croaking.

″It’s like listening to the Russian Red Army Chorus, if you’ve ever heard them sing,″ said Richard McGinnis, a Pacific Lutheran University biologist.

″The males are singing, ’I’m the greatest, come be with me,‴ Ms. Robbins said, but hundreds, if not thousands of froggy femmes are getting crushed on their way to the tryst.

She said she carried a few dozen moonstruck frogs across a road near her home a few nights ago.

The tree frogs breed in shallow water, keeping their eggs moist to prevent the tadpoles from drying out, said McGinnis.

″They move around especially at night,″ he said. ″That’s why they’re so hard to see.″

″It would be nice if we had frog-crossing signs,″ McGinnis said. Such signs exist in England and parts of California.

The frogs are tiny and their remains don’t constitute a road hazard, unlike caterpillars, which turn some country roads yellow when they leave their cocoons to feed on leaves each May, said George Tyler, a local road maintenance manager.

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Irish descendants dyed the river green and renamed it the Shannon on Monday to kick off a week of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in this largely Hispanic city.

Eighteen pounds of biodegradable dye were dumped into a two-mile stretch of the San Antonio River, staining it emerald green for several hours, said Shannon Dortch of the Paseo del Rio Association, a city trade group.

The Harp & Shamrock Society of Texas coordinated a barge parade and organized entertainment for the festivities in the Alamo City.

″It’s always a big week for me,″ said Myrl Sullivan, a Harp & Shamrock member who dressed like a leprechaun and dyed his beard green. ″After St. Patrick’s Day, you just say, ’I’m all Irished out.‴

To show ″there is a little of the Irish in all of us,″ the Fire on the Mountain Cloggers did Irish jigs and other dances, and the Bandaid Jazz Band played what one member called ″good ol’ Irish jazz tunes from New Orleans.″

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