Monday, April 5, 2010

No Eggs Found

My son and I made the trek out to the vernal pool this weekend. We brought our wagon, complete with snacks, drinking water, and rubber boots. We also brought two large jugs to carry home a small mass of eggs and lots of water and leaf litter. We planned to bring the egg mass home, set it up in a tank with vernal pool water and leaf litter from the vernal pool, watch the tadpoles develop and hatch, and then return them to the vernal pool.

When we reached the site, I oriented mysef by finding the large tree I had sat under two weeks before. We made our way through the tangle of low shrubs and prickly briars until we reached the water. We waded in carefully, working to move the briars, look for eggs, and maintain our balance all at the same time.

I was amazed. We found...nothing. Not one mass. The light was just right- we could see through the water to the bottom. Still we found nothing. Then I paused and really looked closely. I realized I was standing at least 10 feet from the place where I had been sitting the last time.

I said, "Oh my gosh. I can't even get to where I was the last time. The water is too deep. And the frogs were further out from there. There's no way we can get to where the eggs will be!"
We made a few more attempts, but soon it was clear that we couldn't possibly get out to the area where the gelatinous masses would be found.
So what happened? We had massive rainfall in our area one week ago. Roads are still flooded out, schools were closed, and a little peninsula of land that is home to nearly 1,000 residents became an island. We fared pretty well at our house. Our basement had water in it but not nearly as much as many other people nearby.

So, why can't we find those little gelatinous masses? Wood Frogs usually attach their spawn to a submerged branch. Those branches will hold the eggs steady right where they were layed. Now that the area is so flooded, we can't possibly get close enough to get them.

I guess we'll just have to go back and look for polliwogs (tadpoles) once they hatch. Those little guys zip all around in the water! We'll keep you posted.


  1. Can we hire the cute little helper for our next trek out there?

  2. He's always available for outside adventures when you're here.