Tag Archives: Mexico

Locally Toned in Mexico: Frog Mating Calls, Macario Gómez, Quintana Roo

The small village of Macario Gómez (population 510) is 12km west of Tulum (the Mayan archeological site built on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean). Forested rather than costal, Macario Gómez is known for its craftspeople who make and sell high quality hammocks, wood carvings and organic honey products along the road that leads to the colonial town of Valladolid. Slightly off that main road, my partner and I stayed at La Selva Mariposa, a 4-room B&B featuring comfy beds, gardens, hammocks, happy dogs, and lovely water features (a waterfall, plunge pools and fountains).

As my partner and I bedded down for our first night, we heard some very loud (but charming) chirps and creeeeeeks coming from a fountain near our guest room. Our early May visit coincided with frog-mating season. Equipped with a flashlight, camera and recording equipment, we went outside that evening and successfully captured this Frog Mating Call Ringtone. This track features the sound of the running fountain and the calls of a frog. We heard the frogs make three different sounds during our stay in Macario Gómez, but we were only able to record two. Here’s the second sound–Frog Honks in a Fountain (a great honking sound, but I chose not to release this track on the Locally Toned distribution site, so download it here if you’d like to use it as a ringtone).

Because the frogs were still hanging around the next day, I was able to photograph them in the morning light. Scroll down to read a bit more about the amorous amphibians and to see more images from the grounds of La Selva Mariposa.

I sent my pictures of the amphibians to Dr. Richard P. Elinson (a biologist who contributed these Coqui tones to the project) to check whether these were frogs. Dr. Elinson replied: “People would call these frogs.  They have slimy, non-warty skin.  They are some kind of tree frog, since they have adhesive discs on the ends of their toes.” After digging around online, I wondered if the fountain frogs we recorded were Leptodactylus fragilis; the Mexican White-lipped Frog, permanent residents of the Mayan Rivera and beyond.

The fountain where we recorded the Frog Mating Call Ringtone. All of the water features on the property were designed and built by Lou, one of the owners of La Selva Mariposa.

The front gate leading onto the property.

The plunge pool nearest our guest room.

The pools were as sparkling and as refreshing as they appeared.

A steam-pyramid on the property.

This ringtone recording session was made possible by a generous grant from The Fine Foundation.

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Locally Toned in Mexico: Trio Jarocho, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo

Meet Trio Jarocho–Felipe Sosa on arpa, Alfonso Chavez on guitarra, and Genaro Vergara Rios on jarana.  Based in Cancun, they specialize in playing both popular and traditional music from the Veracruz region of Mexico. A group of friends, they’ve played fiestas, weddings and parties together for 25 years.

I heard them play as they strolled through the restaurant Pelicanos in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and, with the help of a very kind masero (waiter), put my best Spanish forward to ask them if they’d share their  lively music with Locally Toned.

Here is their Zapateado Ringtone–21 seconds long–a dance of Mexican Indian origin. As they warmed up, I also recorded Felipe Sosa’s Harpa (Harp) Message Alert.

The Trio also allowed me to record these two traditional songs, which I’ve uploaded as full-length tracks–El Torito (1 min 7 seconds), and Pajaro Cu (1 min 23 seconds). The tracks were so cheerful, and they played with such sustained energy, that I didn’t have the heart to cut (edit) them into a shorter ringtone format.

Heartfelt thanks to Felipe, Alfonso and Genaro of Trio Jarocho for sharing their ebullient music with Locally Toned. More images of Trio Jarocho, Pelicanos and Puerto Morelos follow.

Pelicanos, a Seaside restaurant in Puerto Morelos

T. Foley records Trio Jarocho, photo courtesy Scott Davidoff

Alfonso Chavez on guitarra

Genaro Vergara Rios on jarana

Felipe Sosa on arpa

Pelicanos’ ceviche and guacamole

Rain clouds roll in to Puerto Morelos

Como un sueño

This ringtone recording session was made possible by a generous grant from The Fine Foundation.

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Locally Toned in Mexico: Birdsong of Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo

Should you find yourself, as we did, in Puerto Morelos–a fishing village 30 minutes south of Cancun–you’re certain to hear the birdsong. I noticed it most prominently in the early morning when the birds were up singing with the sunrise. A palapa crow’s nest was situated on the roof adjacent to our hotel room, and I hid, tucked away from the birds, sitting on steps to record audio for this Birdsong Ringtone (Puerto Morelos). It includes various bird calls–my favorite sounds like a kind of sonar reverb, and it ends with a call my boyfriend described as a the “Muppet News Desk Alert.” I also exported a Trilling Birdsong Message Alert and a Squawking Birdsong Message Alert.

Here are a few images from our respite at Puerto Morelos, including a picture of the bird-themed tile that decorates the bathrooms at Casa Caribe.

This ringtone recording session was made possible by a generous grant from The Fine Foundation.

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