Thursday, April 12, 2007

Vernal pool discoveries

My daughter and I took the dog to the old dump site the other evening to explore the vernal pools and fields. We have had very little sun this month, and even though it was cold, the bright evening sky was a welcome respite from grey clouds. I have so little knowledge when it comes to naming flora and fauna, and thought some pictures would be helpful when looking through various guides. Dakota has become an asset, as he discovers new items of interest before I do and he has learned to leave the birds and rabbits alone. This is his idea of doggy paradise.

I took pictures of various mosses and emerging plants and identified salamander eggs and frog eggs in the vernal pools. A number of birds are nesting in the area.

A pair of Mallards eyed us silently and cautiously from the tall grass. The female was very well camouflaged. This goose, acting distressed, but not at all aggressive, paced around the nesting area.

There are many Red Winged Blackbirds here who continue to sing and pose for me in a most gregarious manner. I have seen no new birds in a week and am sure the cold, strong north winds have kept birds from continuing their migration across the Great Lakes.
We turned over many rocks and stones, but found no insects. It has been exceptionally cold this month and last night we had another winter storm with snow and freezing rain. Hopefully this is Old Man Winter's last gasp. The inhabitants of this field and the inhabitiants in this house hope that someone pushes the PLAY button and stops the PAUSE on spring.

My first cousin once removed, 10 year old Samuel, has started his own nature and bird blog. I love the way he writes, at times very adult like, but the child view shines through!


  1. It doesn't matter if everything is brown, Ruth. Your photos show the brown very well and they portray a mood. Looks very cold.

    You are right about the dogs, they lead the way!

    I read Samuel's blog. For a ten year old, he is blogging very well!

  2. Anonymous9:00 pm GMT-4

    Loved your blog. Mark & Cindy have redwing blackbirds on their feeder every day. They saw their first pair of goldfinches this morning.

  3. Mary- It is cold, but today it is white, not brown! The dog doesn't complain though. He loves snow, even in April!

    Mom- I cannot attract goldfinches, hard as I try. I have never seen a RW Blackbird in our yard either. I bet their food sources in Bramptom are all paved over.

  4. -I got a kick out of your cousing Samuel's blog.Hope he keeps at it.
    -It's kind of interesting the way male Red-winged Blackbirds puff themselves up and let out their squacky call.

  5. Unbelievable that the old dump is producing such abundant life. What a delight - vernal pools and frog eggs.

  6. Larry- Sam appreciates your compliment. Those RW Blackbirds keep puffing up and singing inspite of the cold. I am glad a few birds have returned.

    Cathy- I have enjoyed poking around the ponds. In the summer, when the grass is high I am more cautious in crossing the field. Our last dog met a skunk here! Ughh!


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