Saturday, April 9, 2011

Waiting, Part III

Spring has been waking up my vernal pool.
  We have been observing some very fascinating signs of life.  For instance, in the picture above, my son is looking at some "eggs" that he found on the moss, leaf litter, and fastened to some twigs by the pool.  The next picture is a close-up shot of one.

The frogs are the most obvious sign the pool is awakening.
The wood frogs have been busy pairing up and laying eggs.

Those speckled, gray, gelatinous masses attached to the submerged branches are the wood frog's eggs.

Wood Frog Eggs
  I'm thinking those eggs are a sure sign the vernal pool is "coming to life".  Imagine all of those tadpoles that will soon be wiggling out of their eggs and swimming about.  That's alot of tadpoles!

  By the way, I'm very pleased that I have a waterproof digital camera  that I can carry around in my pocket, even in the rain. Then if I encounter something like these frog eggs, I can just stick my Pentax optio w90  under the water for some great shots.  Out in the field, I was looking at the frog eggs and didn't even see those salamander eggs in the lower right corner. Thanks to the waterproof camera, I noticed them when I looked at the pictures.

  Later, I snapped this picture of the same egg mass.
I'd say the eggs have been developing awhile.
  The spring rains and warmer temperatures have definitely awoken this quiet, isolated, temporary pool. 

  When I was young, I practically lived in one of these vernal pools.  If I wasn't in the pool, I had some of the pool in the dining room.  So I kinda know what all is beginning to happen there at my vernal pool.  I'll be checking on the pool occasionally and sharing some of the amazing things I find as the season progresses.
 See Waiting, Part IV about the awakening vernal pool.


  1. What are we looking at in that one droplet or egg sac ?

    I love the underwater pictures. Quite amazing !

    You are teaching me a lot. A lot of time I look at things without seeing what's there ...

  2. Sybil,
    I'm not sure what laid those eggs on the branches and moss. Since most of them were on the moss and leaf litter at the edge of the pool, they might be Four-toed Salamander eggs. I'm watching those eggs, and also reading to learn what they are.
    I enjoy teaching, and of course, learning.

  3. Hi Dana, just followed the link back to this post from today's "Frog sounds" post.

    We started hearing the peepers in our area just a few days ago. Today's snowfall has probably sent them back into dormancy. :-(