Ephemeral ponds, also called vernal ponds, are small bodies of water that typically do not hold water throughout the season. For this reason, they cannot support fish. This makes them ideally suited to be safe breeding habitat for amphibians like frogs and salamanders.
Turtle Pond is being restored.
This wood frog is returning to the pond after a long winter’s nap.
Wood frogs migrate to ephemeral ponds with the first spring rains, sometimes even before spring melt is complete, to mate and lay their eggs.
This wood frog is cruising for a mate.
Wood frogs typically lay eggs in a large communal mass. The newt swimming alongside may prey on the tiny tadpoles when they hatch.
Salamanders also migrate to vernal pools but attach individual egg masses to twigs.
By autumn, the vernal pool has shrunk and is not able to support fish.
Newts lose their bright red colors and are well-camouflaged in the murky pond waters.
Newts are carnivorous and hunt wood frog tadpoles, looking just like miniature alligators searching for fish.
The secretive spotted salamanders are rarely seen above ground.
A frog with a tail? This green frog is in the process of completing the mysterious process known as metamorphosis and will soon lose the tail.
salamander egg mass
Why do wood frogs lay egg in these large masses? If a late freeze comes. the eggs on the top layer will be lost but, those underneath will remain insulated and survive.
This red eft is making his or her way, through dangerous territory, to a nearby pond. There the eft will complete its life cycle, becoming a fully aquatic newt.
newly hatched wood frog tadpoles
The incredible shrinking pond; this one requires occasional inputs from the hose to keep the water lilies alive.
Just enough water left to capture the red maple’s reflection.