Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fresh eggs in the morning

I sometimes feel as though I have the front row seat to a drama unfolding in our vernal pool.
I've read the playbill, understand the plot summary, but struggle with a bit of uncertainty as to exactly who's who. And to further confuse things, the story stops and starts, as spring falters and late storms freeze the "action" on the stage.

Twelve days ago, 2 types of egg masses appeared. Matching them to the adults frolicking in the same waters and their similar timing, I identified them as wood frogs' and spotted salamanders' eggs.

This morning, a new character has made an appearance--an egg mass unlike any of the many, now developing gelatinous clusters from days ago. Fresh and clear, smaller and more dense.
Could it be that these are the Spotteds' eggs? And the original ones were Jefferson's?
I thought I had missed them!

Perhaps Act II will reveal more answers.

Wood Frog eggs showing embryos.
Wood pool,
March 25, 2008

First photo,
Spotted Salamander eggs with cleavage furrow?
Wood pool,
March 25, 2008

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Lynne said...

Nina, I haven't been posting or leaving comments often, but I so look forward to reading about your pond developments. What you're seeing, documenting, and sharing with your readers is amazing to say the least. It is truly life affirming. Watching my sister's decline has become the huge focus of my life right now. A month ago, while we were still in the firm grip of winter, I kept myself from voicing my wishes for spring because it felt I was wishing away time with her. Now I've come to believe that the march of the seasons' changing is a constant that I find peaceful. I'm watching spring awaken through your eyes this year.

nina said...

I'm so glad to hear you're following as I'm watching.
I agree--there's something very comforting about knowing the passing of time will bring a promise of freshness and growth.
The cycle, such a reminder of how all nature moves forward.
I'm so pleased you enjoy these.
And I think of you often.

Texas Travelers said...

Keep us posted on act 2. Act 1 was great. Troy

Cathy said...

Lynne's comment about her sister and time and change . . . so right here.

I share Lynne's appreciation of your sharing the theater; your ring-side sit on hope, rebirth and renewal.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Nina
If I get the time before bed time tonight I will have a look and see if I can come up with anything. These eggs seem to have a line through them.. This really is turning into a daily series that I feel I dare not miss..

nina said...

I think the line you're seeing is where the egg will divide in order to duplicate and grow larger as it develops. It's neat to be able to see and watch this happen, with the surrounding covering so see-through!

What confuses me is the sequence of adults I've found and the sequence of eggs.
From what I've read, Jeffersons salamanders typically arrive first at a pool and lay eggs, followed by spotteds and wood frogs together.

The only egg masses I've seen until yesterday were salamanders and wood frogs, side-by-side--so I assumed they were the spotteds' eggs. Also, the masses are large. Every day for several days, there were more--and all the adults I were seeing were spotted.
NOW, a smaller mass appears, totally different in appearance and much later than the wood frogs'--but I doubt these are jeffersons', being so late in the season.

Also, the numbers of masses compared to adults puzzles me.
I've seen only 1 Jeffersons and over 25 spotteds.
I can see 12 larger sally masses, and just 1 smaller.

So, which eggs go with which salamander??

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for Act II.

Mary said...

I'm always eager to click on "Nature Remains"'s a wonderful ride with you.

Marvin said...

I admire your dedication.

Julie Zickefoose said...

The Chimp is scratching her head, too, but enjoying the view and your nocturnal intrepidity. (First I wrote intrepitude but it didn't look right).

Oh, I've got countersinging brown thrashers just outside in the predawn light!