With the warm, sunny weather in the next few days, this is a great time to see and hear wood frogs at vernal pools. The easiest places to see them in the Middletown area are the Wadsworth Mansion grounds and the viewing platform at Highlawn Forest next to CT Forest and Park Association, especially if you go at the warmest part of the day.
Yesterday the wood frogs were quacking loudly at Wadsworth Mansion! I love their spring welcome. For more about the arrival of wood frogs, see the EO Blog I heard quacking. Have you heard them yet?
A vernal pool full of wood frogs is an amazing sight. Last year we were really lucky and had and wonderful frog viewing experience as part of our Girls Outside program on March 9. See the EO blog Girls & Frogs for more.
With the rain Thursday night, in addition to wood frogs, some spotted salamanders migrated to the vernal pools.
Spotted salamanders are such cool creatures and can often get as big as 8 inches long. For more about the spotted salamander see last springs Salamander Rain EO blog.
There were lots of freshly laid eggs masses at a vernal pool I visited yesterday. A few of the egg masses had been there long enough to have hydrated to almost their full size. Each dot in the round egg mass is an egg. In the lower right hand corner of the photo below you can see a pinkish female wood frog is laying eggs. The browner male is holding on (see the EO Blog I heard quacking for more on this).
Wood frogs live in the woods and only migrate to wetlands for a few weeks each spring. They blend in with the leaf litter and can be hard to see.
Did you find the wood frog in the photo above?
The first Everyone Outside family program was a Frog Friday (visit to a vernal pool) in 2010 (Women of the Woods started in 2008). That first Frog Friday was held at one of the nicest vernal pools in the area which is at the Field Forest in Durham. I sent an email to a variety of people on Wed. when I came up with the idea for the Frog Friday. That Friday was a gorgeous warm sunny day, more than 20 people (adults & kids) showed up and several hundred frogs put on an amazing display. The video below is one I took today at that wonderful vernal pool. I love how the movement of the wood frogs cause ripples in the reflections of the trees.
If you keep your eyes and ears open, it is amazing what you can discover!
Share what you notice with a family member, friend or neighbor.
Two of the photos above were taken by my friend Paul Benjunas. I greatly appreciate his willingness to let me share his amazing amphibian photos.