Saturday, April 26, 2008

The circle of life

The parade continues.
To the waters, another wave of life.

Tonight-- the tree frogs. And, as several peepers still cry out, though their numbers are far fewer now, five Cope's Gray Tree frogs gather, plump pads on long toes wrapping small stems just above the water's surface, and voice short raspy calls into a warm spring evening.

This pool, in the weeks I have been watching, has shown me, each day, change.

Its creatures, developing in the transparency of water.
Their lives transforming behind nothing more than gelatin--a womb with a view.
Peering into their world--until, the spark of life within, looks back at you.

Where, 52 days earlier, their parents returned to this ancestral pool,
the next generation of Spotteds enters the world.

Spotted Salamander eggs, 4-14-08
21 days

Spotted Salamander eggs, 4-21-08
28 days

Spotted Salamander eggs, 4-24-08
31 days

Can you find the Jefferson Salamander larva
swimming at the surface in the small image of Wood Pool?

(Look for green-tipped gills!)

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Lynne said...

Nina, this has been such a remarkable story you've shared with us.

Rurality said...

Wow, amazing! And amazing how it all works, too. :)

ncmountainwoman said...

We are so very much enjoying your observations and pictures from the vernal pool. We've gained a wealth of knowledge and eagerly await each new post. Thank you.

Is it my imagination or the camera angle, or does the pool actually have more water in it now?

nina said...

ncmountainwoman--You're very perceptive!
The pool actually is larger than in the winter shots--spring rains filled it to the brim, in fact flooding the areas beyond for several days.
I watch the water level closely--there is much that must happen here before it dries this summer.

mon@rch said...

Stunning photos and love seeing the egg development! Also, the Gray Tree Frog is my all time favorite frog! I hope to find one in my area one of these days!

Jennifer said...

Oh, I keep wishing I would hear Gray Tree Frogs at our Santuary. But alas...

bobbie said...

"A womb with a view" - Too good! How do you do it? The photos are just amazing! Again - How do you do it?!

RuthieJ said...

That pool area is so beautiful. I bet you look forward to going there every day to see what's new. It looks so peaceful.

Mary said...

I'd give my eye teeth for a vernal pool.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Fantastic.. as for Womb with a view... well that had me chuckling.. I did spot the Jefferson.. once I enlarged, and something else lurking.

Anonymous said...

how wonderful to have been able to get photos of these stages.