We sure are! And to get ready for it, we got in a shipment of the most awesome field guide: “A Field Guide to the animals of Vernal Pools,” by Leo Kenny and Mathew Burne.
For those who have come out on our amphibian field trips, this is the field guide that I always have with me. I actually keep one at home and one in my car or backpack so I’m never without it. Yes – it’s that excellent. What I love about it is that it has species that not only show up in vernal pools but also those that may be found in permanent pools and streams. For frogs and salamanders, it has photos and descriptions of the different life stages (egg masses, tadpoles, adults) which is so helpful.
This guide is produced through the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife and the Vernal Pool Association. So, while the target species are those of New England, it turns out that we have the same species that they focus on here in Loudoun. So it’s a very useful guide for us.
As I said, we took the plunge and bought a number of them so we can make it more readily available to you. If you’d like to get a copy, you can buy one (while supplies last) at our speaker programs and fair booth or through the store on our website.
Here’s the official description:
The Field Guide is a cooperative effort between the MA Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program and the Vernal Pool Association to produce a pictorial guide which will help students and others to easily identify the vertebrates and invertebrates which are commonly found in vernal pools in Massachusetts. The guide was reprinted June, 2009, with a few minor changes.
The guide contains photographs of all reptiles and amphibians of Massachusetts as well as accounts of the amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates commonly encountered at New England vernal pools. Each account provides a description of the organism and information about its natural history in relation to vernal pools.