Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team Update
Meet at Walgreens’s Parking Lot on Main St., Gloucester
We have a lot of new people on the listserv this year, so I want to go over the field trip procedure. For many of you, this will be review.We have both daytime and nighttime fieldtrips.
At night we hope to see migrating and/or breeding spotted salamanders, wood frogs and spring peepers. Maybe some other things- fairy shrimp, water bugs and leeches.
During the day we are usually searching for egg masses to photograph for certification. We may see frogs, fairy shrimp, insects and leeches.
Night trips usually happen when the air temperature is 45°F or above. Usually rainy or foggy. About 9:30pm.
Daytime trips happen after the amphibian egg masses start to show up in the ponds.
You usually won’t get much notice because there are lots of variables (for instance, the air temp. might be right, but the ground might still be frozen, and the amphibians may decide to stay home). The critters don’t tell us what they’re going to do. And we don’t have a crystal ball here, so I’ll try to give you my best guess as to when a field trip is coming up, but you may only get 2-3 hours notice. So watch your emails.
We generally meet at the Walgreens/Dunkin Donuts parking lot on Main Street in Gloucester at about 9:15pm.
Most people drive their own car (or buddy up) from the parking lot to the pool. That way you can leave whenever you get cold, wet, tired or bored. Many field trippers do not care to stay out as long as I do. Which is fine.
On night trips you’ll need a flashlight. Mag lights and 6-volt lights are good. Some people have some of those nice LED ones. Everyone must have a flashlight so you can shine the ground in front of you as you walk to the pond. Salamanders may be walking too, and they aren’t fast enough to get out of your way. We don’t want to step on any amphibians.
So, anyway, put your raingear, boots (just for a muddy walk, you won’t be wading) and flashlight by the door and be ready. Leave your dogs at home.
I would encourage you to join us if you haven’t already. If we get a good night, it’s an amazing spectacle and really the fun part of vernal ponding.
We’ll need lots of experienced field trippers to assist in leading. I think we’ll have a lot of new people this year.
Check your emails often for the latest updates. We will make every effort to give as much notice as possible, but sometimes it may not be until 6:30-7pm on the night of the trip.
Hope to see you out there. Rick
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