Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 50

The Naturalist’s Eye
By Marcia Bonta

Vernal Pond
Adventures
O

NCE AGAIN I’m sitting beside
our mountaintop vernal pond
and wondering if this will be the year
the wood frogs will make it out of the
pond before the water disappears. A
wood frog’s lifespan is about seven
years, and for six years the pond has
dried up before the wood frogs’ have
fully developed. Some years their eggs
are left high and dry; other years their
tadpoles are.
A vernal pond is a temporary, fish-free wetland that fills in late
winter or early
spring and dries
out by early
summer in
a good year.
This pond is
only several yards
across and several yards long,
depending on rainfall, and, unlike the
tiny, six-foot-wide pond at the base of
First Field, I can’t get close enough to
watch the courtship and mating of the
frogs. I can hear their quacking calls,
though, and I enjoy watching a wide
variety of wild creatures that visit it
even when I’m sitting quietly beside
it, my back against an oak tree.
I find it incredibly peaceful to watch
the pond as it reflects the trees in its
still water. But this early March day
50	

a skim of ice over it glitters in the
sunlight. Its surface has a medley of
half circles and triangles artistically
rendered by the ice-maker overnight.
On the thirteenth of March, as I
near the vernal pond, circles appear
in the water. I wonder if they can be
disappearing wood frogs. I study the
still, dark water and spot one small mass
that I look at through my binoculars. A
golden eye returns
my gaze. I move
closer and see
a male wood
frog stretched
out in the water.
Next to him is a
stick with two
clumps of frog
eggs clinging to
it. This unusually
bold wood frog dives into the
water but quickly resurfaces. Since I
am still standing there, he sinks back
under the water.
The vernal pond has already contracted, and I hope that the dark clouds
rushing across the Allegheny Front will
drop some rain on us and fill up the
pond. But it doesn’t happen. Nevertheless, two days later, I find two wood
frog egg masses in different areas. The
gelatinous, fist-sized blobs contain several hundred eggs with black embryos.
GAME	 NEWS



Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013

Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013
Contents
Another Doorstep
Whitetail Predation
Pymatuning and Conneaut
Grinnin’ a Gobbler
Want to Be a Successful Turkey Hunter?
One for Officer Grove
Pennsylvania Otters — A Success Story
Kestrel Numbers Climb at SGL 205
From the Field
Field Notes
Conservation News
Making a Difference
What Should I Be Doing This Month?
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Another Doorstep
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Whitetail Predation
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pymatuning and Conneaut
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Grinnin’ a Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Want to Be a Successful Turkey Hunter?
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - One for Officer Grove
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pennsylvania Otters — A Success Story
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Kestrel Numbers Climb at SGL 205
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - From the Field
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Making a Difference
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - What Should I Be Doing This Month?
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover4
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