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Vernal Magic

April 7th, 2021

Photo by Beatrice Hayhurst


Slip into your wellies and wade through the ephemeral ponds throughout the Tri-State region. Vernal pools are home to innumerable species who rely upon this muddy softening of the earth each spring. Recent rainfall has extended this period of vernal magic this year.

This distinctive type of wetland habitat provides a unique environment for native amphibians and insects. The cyclical pattern of seasonal water accumulation, followed by a drying period of evapotranspiration distinguishes a vernal pool from other small bodies of water. Larger predators and fish, who commonly feed upon unguarded eggs, do not reside in vernal ponds due to the temporary nature of these pools of water.  As a result, vernal habitats allow many species of frogs, salamanders, and insects to fully mature in a protected environment – promoting the region’s vibrant ecosystem.


Vernal ponds, including those throughout the Berkshires, are teaming with life.  Some of the most common inhabitants include wood frogs, salamanders, fairy shrimp, fingernail clams and a plethora of egg masses.



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