May 12, 2014

Amphibious fortune!

We've had tons of good amphibious fortune this week. It all started when our homeschooled friend Erin took Reid and me frog egg hunting (poor Liam and Tim had school that day).
We hit the jackpot with three different varieties, and brought home eggs to transplant into the pools behind our house in the woods.
Here's Reid staking out the right spot for the transplant:
And some of the eggs:
Then this weekend, we went on a guided hike with a couple of herpetologists. We learned that in vernal pools in this area we would find three different species.

Wood frogs:
Yellow spotted salamanders:
And blue spotted salamanders, some of which are unisex, like this one:
We know that we have some salamander eggs in the backyard, as well as some wood frog eggs. We also guess that our backyard pools will dry up a little bit too soon for them to survive, but that is part of the learning process. As one of the scientists we met with graciously pointed out, these guys lay hundreds of eggs and on average they have two that survive, so we can't have messed things up too badly by moving a few eggs.
What fun!