Friday, November 17, 2006

The Vernal Pools topped up and quacking ducks

Last evening when I arrived home I was welcomed by a most untimely choral greeting. I was hearing peeps in the woods, a sound typically reserved for late spring. This I am quite sure must have been the spring peeper frogs whose seasonal rhythms must have been upset by the unusually warm and very wet weather. We have had about two weeks of steady rain and the woods are very wet. All the vernal pools that were dry a couple of weeks ago are now brimming. Vernal pools typically dry up at least once a year which creates a special environment, i.e. no fish or similar predators, where certain species like salamanders can survive.

The wetlands at the back of the property where teaming with duck. I couldn’t see them from the edge of the high water in the woods by I could hear the cacophony. It is an odd behaviour. The ducks would go into these quacking fits. They would all quack at different times. I presume it has something to do with courting and procreation. Does anybody know what that is about? I could see the ducks flying overhead but I could not identify them through the trees. This is the first year that I have seen this presence of duck on our property.