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Archive for March 26th, 2012

The Breeding Pool


On Sunday afternoon I decided to change my routine at the frog ponds behind my home and take my four year old daughter out to investigate the ponds during daylight hours. The night-time temperatures are dipping just below the freezing mark and the frogs have stopped chorusing until the warmer weather arrives again. Above you will see a photo of the main pond in the abandoned cattle pasture behind my home. I love being able to look out over these empty fields everyday and watch the wild grasses waving in the summer breeze. This pond sure ain’t much to look at, but at night it comes alive with song. This is the pond where I photograph my Chorus Frog and Spring Peeper images and it is roughly two feet deep in the middle. The field where these ponds are located is cut and baled once per year, usually late summer, by a local farmer. In this field there are three significant ponds that are used each year by the resident frog and toad populations as breeding pools. These ponds are known as vernal ponds. Vernal ponds are often favored by many frog and toad species as there tends to be fewer predators due to the fact that vernal ponds dry-out towards the end of summer, however, there are still some predators (water beatles, turtles and snakes) that will feast on the eggs, tadpoles or frogs themselves. As it would turn out while I was wading through the pond while carrying my daughter we came upon a large Snapping Turtle, the same turtle I encounter year-after-year, that was busy eating Wood Frog eggs. This large turtle was already sporting a lovely new coat of algae on its shell. I walked my daughter back to the pond’s edge and walked back out for a couple of quick photos with my 12-24mm lens with a polarizing filter attached.

Snapping Turtle and Wood Frog eggs

 

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