The Ephemeral World of Vernal Pools

Vernal pools, or vernal ponds, are bodies of water common to Connecticut that appear only in the spring. Because of their absence of fish, they are an ideal habitat for natal amphibians and insect species that could not survive competition or predation from fish. All three teachers placed a special emphasis on exploring vernal pools over the past month. The recent addition of a terrarium to our program has facilitated more in-depth study of Mother Nature's vast array of squirming, hopping, slithering, and swimming creatures.

A fieldtrip to a vernal pool in Northfield proved to be a fruitful excursion. One species of tadpole had already hatched and a second species with a different egg mass form was developing. Teacher Elizabeth exclaimed, "We could see them wiggling inside the jelly!"

At White Memorial Kunsang and Silas captured a cadisfly larva encased in its "shell" constructed from pond debris. They also discovered wrigglers (a.k.a. mosquito larvae).