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Holliston Conservation Associates Host Vernal Pool Walk

by Mary Curran
April 19, 2017

Holliston Conservation Associates Host Vernal Pool Walk

The Holliston Conservation Associates will be holding their annual Vernal Pool Walk on April 22nd at 10:00 AM at the Daniels' Conservation Area.  Marc Connelly will explain the characteristics of vernal pools and show us some of the creatures who live there.  This is a wonderful, hands-on program for children and adults alike. 

Dress appropriately for the weather.   We will be outdoors for an hour or more.  Since we will be at the water’s edge, boots may be helpful but are not necessary.  You can park in the high school lot and walk across the street. The vernal pool is a short walk into the property.  All are invited to this free program.

Frogs and salamanders return to their pools to breed in March or April, as soon as the weather starts to warm up.  They prefer to travel on a rainy night when the temperature is above 40 degrees.  This was another year of interesting weather, with an early warm-up in February followed by a return to winter temperatures.  Did you hear any peepers in February?  Some made it to the pools and then had to hunker down again.

In the picture above Marc holds an egg mass.  Egg masses feel rather like Jello.  The green color comes from algae in the water and it helps to keep the egg mass warm for the growing frog or salamander larvae.

The picture above shows a caddis fly larva.  It shelters in a “house” built from bits of grass it gathered from the pool.  If you hold a caddis fly larva in your hand with a bit of water and wait patiently, it may poke its head out to look around.

We may see delicate fairy shrimp or giant water beetles.  A frog might be lurking on a nearby tree or a salamander hiding beneath a rock.  Each year we return to the same vernal pool, but each year we see something different.  We hope you will join us this Earth Day to see what we discover right here in Holliston.

 

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