Vernal Pools, Part II


Wood frog eggs in a tire track in Hopewell Township. They have laid eggs here previous years. How do they find this one spot?

An old farm, now forest: It is crisscrossed by old farm ditches - an attempt to drain it for agriculture. Parts of the land are now in the fits of forest regeneration. Canopy - red maple, shrub layer - multiflora rose and barberry, herb layer - Japanese stilt grass.

I am oversimplifying, hmm... well, only a bit. Some animals seem to make do with the scraps we leave behind. A red-tail pair in a mugwort and autumn olive riddled median. Wood frogs in tire tracks. Herons in golf courses.

It feels bittersweet to see these things - "Oh thank goodness, we haven't ruined everything." But that nagging, nagging question "Wonder how many wood frogs were here before the drainage ditches and the corn?"

If the power went out, really went out, how would I do alongside an abandoned highway? On a wildlife bridge across route 78? In a field full of F1 hybrids?

Heron track in tire track.

Turkey displays by the train tracks.