Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team Update

Logos.AIIt’s warm enough and it’s going to rain. But the rain won’t be until late tonight and I don’t think many of you will want to go on a field trip after midnight. But… tonight’s rain should bring out some salamanders. It’s supposed to be warm tomorrow. So… there will be salamanders in the pools and there should be frogs calling. Although we likely won’t see much migration, it should still be neat. So…Tuesday April 8, 2014 8:30pm
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

we only have one earth, save it

Link to Cape Ann Vernal Pond team website.


  • Rebecca Reynolds

    Hi. It would be great to have the Vernal Pond contact info/email posted in this blog so we can reach out to Rick and get on the list. 😀


  • I took a short video of the salamander crossing one year and when my friends saw it they wanted to experience this amazing “wonder of nature” but when I would call the next spring on a rainy night and say, ” Hey are you up for adventure? Come with me about 11PM tonight, in the wet and somewhat chilly night and I will guarantee you will see something amazing!” Then they would usually say “Tonight? But it’s cold and rainy. Are you crazy? Midnight? I’ll be asleep by then!” so some brave souls got an experience and others didn’t!


  • Thanks for posting this, Kim. If you want to be on our email list and get updates about events and field trips, let me know at


Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s