April 11, 2010

Frog Eggs and Vernal Pools

Yesterday I went down to the pond, to see if there were any results from the loud quacking love calls of the male wood frogs (which I wrote about here, and you can listen to here). And indeed there were: large masses of translucent eggs floating near the edge of the pond.

Within each egg you can see the small black dot that will grow into a tadpole, then a frog. The little specks will grow larger, we'll be able to see a small tail take shape, and then they'll burst out of the egg. I'll try to get some photos as the process unfolds. Yesterday, I almost ended up in the pond myself while trying to get this closeup: I slipped down and had to brace myself with my right arm in very cold water up to my elbow while holding my camera out of the water with my left; I felt very silly.

Just to the south of my pond, on my neighbor's land, I noticed a beautiful wonderland of moss covered rocks and vernal pools, small shallow areas of water that appear in the woods each spring and later dry up. Some are large enough to attract frogs and insects to mate in them, but I think these are too small for that. Instead, they provide intense visual pleasure as they gather and reflect light and the surrounding woods. Being in this little section of woods made me feel as if I was in a fairy tale, and that at any moment a mysterious benevolent spirit would appear.


  1. Oh! Beautiful pools. And eggs. My favorite time of year.
    I always think it's a great adventure to fall in the water, though I don't try to. And good you kept the camera out!

  2. what magical pictures, rich earth and moss and reflections, austere and still cold and pensive - so different from the chirppy flowery side of spring.
    I listened to the frogs on my laptop they sounded more like chickens.

  3. Looks like that spirit was you and you captured the moment. wonderful


  4. I'm happy you all enjoyed the photos; it was wondrous in that little spot and it's nice to be able to share it in a small way.

    as for the frog sounds: I kept thinking they were a flock of ducks when I first heard them, and it took a while to realize that noise was coming from small frogs. All the frog calls of spring––quacking and peeping and trilling and croaking––are a marvelous soundtrack to the season.

  5. enchanting photographs Altoon... a lovely tale from you part of the globe! what a sight that must be!

  6. Frog eggs and vernal pools, just wondrous! So glad you could keep the camera from that cold water submersion! The mosses are so amazing. Maybe tomorrow I will post my mossy shots with a green leafy plant I wonder if you can identify....

  7. hi Maggie and Sophie, yes, the eggs and vernal pools are a wonderful spring sight. These are the perks of going through winter.

  8. Those first two pictures made me want to turn those images into textile designs. They look so much like tulle over satin, spangled with sequins. I could picture them as evening jackets.