Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vernal Pools

Today was the first day of spring and it was another warm day in Southeastern Massachusetts.  In the early afternoon I met with Lauren- one of Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary's Staff , her interns and volunteers, and we spent approximately a little over an hour investigating one of the vernal pools. - _DSC5317 March 20, 2012 NIKON D7000 - _DSC5316 March 20, 2012 NIKON D7000The pool was much smaller than last year due to the scarcity of snow and rain that we have had,

- _DSC5326 March 20, 2012 NIKON D7000- _DSC5324 March 20, 2012 NIKON D7000- _DSC5329 March 20, 2012 NIKON D7000
- Spotted Salamander egg case_DSC5554 March 21, 2012 NIKON D7000
Spotted Salamander Egg Mass
- wood frog egg mass_DSC5615 March 21, 2012 NIKON D7000
Wood Frog Egg Mass
- _DSC5425 March 20, 2012 NIKON D7000
Wood Frog Female
However, it did have an abundance of life in it, including spotted salamander and wood frog egg masses. There were tadpoles swimming around in the pool along with many aquatic insects like the diving beetle.  I photographed the egg masses and wood frogs, including a beautiful red female wood frog.  We also found a pair of wood frogs copulating. - wood frogs Mating_DSC5485 March 20, 2012 NIKON D7000




My plan is to return early in the morning and hopefully I'll be able to find some spotted salamander adults to photograph.

- _DSC5597 March 21, 2012 NIKON D7000
Wood Frog Male
 Returned but no spotted salamanders, just a male wood frog resting on the shore line 
Vernal pools are usually temporary pools of water and are usually devoid of fish.  This allows the safe development of amphibians and insect species.  Although being dry at times, once they fill with water they teamed with life.  They are the breeding ground for many species of frogs and toads and salamanders.  In the late winter and in early spring fairy shrimp are common inhabitants of the pools. See my previous blog http://photobee1.blogspot.com/2011/03/wood-frog-and-vernal-pools.html