Monday, May 5, 2014

First vernal pond mapping

This afternoon I took some time off work and joined the Peninsula Master Naturalists mapping and monitoring vernal ponds at Newport News Park. This was the first time I had been able to join since we got our monitoring permits. Seven of us trekked out today trying to beat the rains. When we pulled up to the planned trail head there was a park ranger and animal control person already there. Apparently there was a lost dog in the area. So we headed back to another entrance.
The last time the group had been in this area they had run out of time before finding the end of one of the larger ponds. So that is where we started. We also took some water samples to see what was in there. The first pond had some tiny fish in it. It also was being fed by a drainage ditch so may not actually qualify as a vernal pond. But we did find some american toad tadpoles.
At the second pond we found a few more tadpoles but also a lot of water insects. The coolest for me was a little red worm.

Some other views of the ponds and insects we found.