NSH Vernal Pool

Data and observations from each of our visits to the vernal pool behind Neighborhood Schoolhouse are being recorded below. Feel free to add a post if you have any questions or comments about our field work.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
taking a close look
tadpoles galore!
Zach's mystery find

Monday, May 7, 2012
We spent most of our time at the pool after our measurements were finished just observing, netting and studying all the critters we were able to catch with our nets and identifying those we did not know. We found new discoveries; a dragonfly nymph, a copepod, 2 predacious diving beetles, numerous tadpoles and green frogs, daphea, and a water boatman. It was great to see some new critters. A very productive day!

Monday, April 30, 2012

catching tadpoles
yellow-spotted salamander egg masses

Monday, April 16, 2012
It must have been a "Big Night" last night because  several Yellow-Spotted Salamanders appeared in our vernal pool! It was such a treat to watch the surprisingly large amphibians swimming up to the surface to catch a breath of fresh air.

We learned that the soft, warm rain that fell on the previous night awakened the salamanders and inspired their mass migration to vernal pools where they reproduce. Joan helped us identify the bright, shiny spermataphore that the male salamanders scattered across the bottom of the pool. We also saw wood frog egg masses and different species of frogs, including Wood Frogs, Green Frogs, and Bull Frogs. They seemed to be enjoying the sun on what we dubbed the "frog log" floating at one end of the pool. We collected data, including temperature and pool measurements. We also sampled for macro-invertebrates and identified some, including backswimmers and midges. All in all, it was, as Claire described it, "a magical day."

Monday, April 9, 2012 After hiking up to our vernal pool we looked and searched and at first we found nothing moving around. There was however quite a few blobs of Jefferson Salamander eggs visible. There was a white substance that looked like white stones on the bottom of a shallow portion of the pond that Joan identifies as spermataphor. We were getting a bit discouraged when Ajna who was collecting at the end of a log thought he found something. After examination Silas and Joan  identified a chironomo Midge, a fish fly and some daphnia. 
  We wondered whether the lack of other specimens had to do with the temperature or the number of people there at the pond. We also noted that the creatures we did find were in the middle of the pool and wondered whether it was warmer and/or more comfortable for them there.

Monday, April 2, 2012 We hiked up to our vernal pool behind our school and we made measurements of the pond, and drew maps, collected data and then collected specimens including a boatman, three worms, a "tumbler," and a water strider. We saw eggs.
Silas' sketch of the vernal pool
Silas and Garet taking an upclose look

Friday, March 23, 2012 Sitting quietly by "frog pond," Laura and Dot's class made observations, then wrote and drew in their journals.

Data: The environmental factors of weather, air and water temperature, depth of pool and size of pool are indicated for each visit, along with the presence or absence of various aquatic organisms.  


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  * Note:   A "no" in the chart below, merely indicates that the indicated species was not observed on a given day. It does not imply that they were, for certain, not present.

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