May 8, 2009

Getting my Boots Wet - Vernal Pools in May

I love my (day) job. Yeah, it's a "necessary evil" for the time being, but sometimes I really do love it.

Let's go back about 20 years. When I was a kid, I loved nothing better than tromping down to the local pond/swamp to look for frogs. My sisters & I would bottle up eggs or tadpoles and bring them home to raise. We'd try and snag adult frogs in our nets... You get the picture.

Today, I got PAID to do this. (And I got to take photos too - can't beat that!)

Green Frog

A co-worker and I spent the day inventorying the vernal pools on a project site. Vernal pools are where most amphibians (frogs, salamanders, & newts) breed. They're typically seasonally flooded depressions with no fish, and no streams in or out. You can read a lot more about them here.

While our main job was checking up on the vernal pools, we got to see some other interesting things while at the site. Like this sundew, a carnivorous plant usually found in bogs. At this site, there were several sundews growing on a sandy bank about a foot above the water level.

I also spotted this dragonfly in one of the vernal pools. He had somehow gotten stuck in the water - I helped him onto a leaf, but he was too wet to fly. This made snagging some close-up photographs pretty easy. I hope he was okay after drying off for a while. I haven't figured out what species he is, but if I find out I will let you know.

So, yeah. Today was a good day. Fieldwork is definitely not always this fun (and I have the scratches and poison ivy to prove it), so I like to savor the good days when I get 'em. Thanks for enjoying this one with me!


  1. Sounds like a neat job. Great to see Sundews - they are like one of those mystical plants that you read about but never see; or even hear of anyone that's seen one! Now I have.

  2. This sounds so neat! Love the photos. I may head down to frog pond today--a good day for amphibians.

  3. Great images- sundews are so neat! Sorry about the poison ivy... :-)

  4. I am so envious. I would love to have been there. I was out back in my yard today and while raking by my itty bitty vernal pool found a salamander. Funny how something so tiny made my day...and this post!


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