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Nature Watch 4.17.14

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Watercolor by Nona Estrin
Watercolor by Nona Estrin

We finally made it into the woods to check the vernal ponds, and a semi-permanent pond used each year by countless Jefferson and spotted salamanders and wood frogs. Well, guess what? For the first time in 30 years, that pond was frozen right down to the bottom and although it has melted on top and around the sides by a few inches, the ice that remains is bonded solidly to the bottom of the pond. It must have formed early in the winter, before there was any insulating snow cover! Never mind, plenty of other water around, melt water, rain water, no shortage for amphibians. I predict a great toad hatch unless it gets dry awfully fast. And what glorious bird song today, particularly good after what we have been through!

Tom Brown is contributing editor of The Bridge. ..... You can contact him at tom@montpelierbridge.com