Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 51

By March 22, I count four separate
egg masses, but the vernal pond is
still shrinking. If the rain comes soon
enough, the eggs may survive. And
come it does, raining hard from 1 a.m.
until mid-morning on March 24, filling
the vernal pond again.
It’s almost a month before I return
to the pond. At the beginning of April,
while hiking on Sapsucker Ridge with
my 16-year-old granddaughter Eva,
she steps on a branch
and I trip over it, my
left leg landing hard
on a pointed rock.
Nothing is broken
or fractured the doctors tell me, but my
leg and foot swell up
and turn black and
blue. I have, after
all, injured my tibia, the
bone just below my knee.
After days of being verandabound and more days of slow, short
walks, I finally make it back to a vernal
pond seething with insect life, most
notably water striders walking atop
the water and looking for mosquitoes
resting on the water just after they
have emerged from their “wriggler”
larval stage.
Various species of diving beetles
also swim in the water on the hunt for
invertebrate and vertebrate creatures,
including the wood frog tadpoles. I
have always marveled at how these insects find a vernal pond, especially this
one, isolated on a mountaintop half a
mile from the nearest stream with an
intermittent flow near its source. Apparently, they are able to fly to it from
such water. But some species of diving
beetles actually overwinter in the basin
formed by a dried up vernal pond.
APRIL  2013 

The wood frog eggs have long since
disappeared from sight, colonized by
the symbiotic algae Oophila amblystomatis, which turns them green. It’s been
cold most of the month, delaying the
hatching of the eggs. But near the pond
I stop to admire the patch of spreading
spring beauties, the only place they
grow on our property. This is an open,
mixed-oak forest close to our neighbor’s
logging operation that took place
several years ago. Not
much has regenerated
and the vernal pond is
not as shaded as it
used to be.
It’s now the fourth
of May and torrid
summer weather has
returned. I practically
stumble over a porcupine
as I approach the vernal
pond and send the creature
scrambling up a large red oak tree.
The vernal pond is a veritable tadpole
soup—tadpoles by the dozens wherever I look, floating near the surface
to warm themselves up now that the
trees have leafed out and are shading
the pond. They need the solar heat to
develop quickly into frogs before the
pond dries up. First they graze on the
symbiotic algae still clinging to their
gelatinous cradle, and then they feed
on algae and leaf material on the pond’s
bottom. They also may feed on each
other, those that hatched first preying
on the latecomers.
Three days of hard, cold rain follow,
and once again the vernal pond is overflowing and seeping over into a series of
wallow-sized pools. My pond-watching
becomes an almost daily discipline as
I sit and watch the tadpoles eating,
swimming and basking in patches of
51



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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