This is my favorite time of year. Who doesn't love the rebirth that happens once the snow melts and days become warmer? My particular fondness, though, is for vernal pools and the wood frogs that migrate to them to reproduce in early spring. No matter how stressful my life is, when I reach the pool and hear the quacking of wood frogs, I instantly feel calmer.
This year, we were buried under three feet of snow for months, so it took a LONG time for all of that snow to melt- an unusual circumstance for Southeastern Massachusetts. That means the wood frogs were late to emerge this year. So while we usually hear just wood frogs for a few days at our vernal pool before the peepers emerge, this year they arrived simultaneously
Wood frog migration is an event I love sharing with others, so I always invite local families along. We hiked about 1 mile in to our favorite vernal pool.
Along the way, we saw a Mourning Cloak- the first butterfly to emerge in spring.
When we reached the vernal pool, exploration began immediately! (I mean, why wouldn't it?)
The sound of wood frogs and peepers was deafening. We even heard the occasional tree frog. (Listen above). Loads of froggie eyes were visible in the water and many swam past us while we watched. This one stayed quiet and still for a long time:
Soon it was time to head home, tired but happy.
Want to learn more about wood frogs? Check out these posts from my old blog:
(I just realized the links in my old posts no longer work- probably as a result of moving the posts from Blogger to here. Sorry. Trying to fix that is a job for another time).
My Wood Frogs/Vernal Pools Pinterest board has links to books and websites about vernal pools and wood frogs. There's also a cool video that shows a wood frog thawing after being frozen solid in winter. Yup. Frozen solid. Their lungs and hearts stop when they freeze. As soon as they thaw they race to the water to reproduce- the frog frenzy of wood frog migration!
Have you seen or heard wood frogs or peepers in your area? We went out to see them on April 12th. If you live north of Boston, however, you might be able to see wood frogs at vernal pools in your area. (We heard a few yesterday). Wood frogs live in cool woodlands all the way up to the Arctic circle!