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Books, Publications & Other Resources
Vern reads about vernal pools.

Generally speaking, one cannot have too many books (although some think I may be approaching that point). For vernal pool studies, there certainly are not enough. Only a few books are written specifically about vernal pools. After quickly exhausting those, one must move to other sources for the identification and ecology of vernal pool organisms. Below are some books which have been found useful for getting to know vernal pools and their inhabitants. This list was compiled with New England in mind. However, many of the publications have a more universal appeal and use.

Vernal Pools

Calhoun, Aram J. K. and Phillip G. deMaynadier, editors. 2008. Science and Conservation of Vernal Pools in Northeastern North America. CRC Press

Childs, Nancy and Elizabeth Colburn. 1993. Vernal Pool Lessons and Activities. Massachusetts Audubon Society, Lincoln, MA.

Colburn, Elizabeth A. 2004. Vernal Pools: Natural History and Conservation. The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, VA and Granville, OH

Downer, Ann. 1992. Spring Pool: A Guide to the Ecology of Temporary Ponds. New England Aquarium, Boston, MA. (out of print)

Kenney, Leo P. 2008. Wicked Big Puddles. Vernal Pool Association, PO Box 2295, Peabody, MA 01960.

Kenney, Leo P. (Editor). 2008. Diving Into Wicked Big Puddles. Vernal Pool Association, PO Box 2295, Peabody, MA.

Kenney, Leo P. and Matthew Burne. 2002. Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools. Vernal Pool Association, PO Box 2295, Peabody, MA and MA NHESP, Westboro, MA. (reprinted 2009)

Pond Watchers GuideMassachusetts Audubon Society

Wetlands and Wetland Studies

Caduto, Michael J. 1990. Pond and Brook: A Guide to Nature in Freshwater Environments. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH 03755

Carroll, David M. 1991. The Year of the Turtle. Camden House Publishing, VT.

Carroll, David M. 2001. Swampwalker's Journal: A Wetlands Year. Mariner Books.

Leahy, Christopher, John Hanson Mitchell, and Thomas Conuel. 1996. The Nature of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Audubon Society, Lincoln, MA.

Morgan, Ann Haven. 1930. Field Book of Ponds and Streams. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York

Redington, Charles B. 1994. Plants in Wetlands. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, Iowa 52004-0539


Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.

DeGraaf, R. M. and D. D. Rudis. 1983. New England Wildlife: Habitat, Natural History and Distribution. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-108. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experimental Station.

Hunter, Jr., Malcolm L., John Albright, and Jane Arbuckle, editors. 1992. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Maine. Bulletin 838. Maine Agriculture Experiment Station, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469

Pfingsten, Ralph A. and Floyd L Downs, editors. 1989. Salamanders of Ohio. Ohio Biological Survey Bulletin New Series Vol. 7. No. 2.

Smith, Hobart M. and Edmund D. Brodie, Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America. Golden Press, New York.

Smith, Hobart M. 1978. Amphibians of North America. Golden Press, New York.

Tyning, Thomas F. 1990. A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles, Stokes Nature Guides, Little, Brown and Company.


Chu, H. F. 1949. How to Know the Immature Insects. Wm C. Brown Company, Dubuque, Iowa.

Peckarsky, Barbara L., Pierre R. Fraissinet, Marjory A. Penton, and Don J Conklin, Jr. 1990. Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of North America. Cornell.

Pennak, Robert W. 1989. Fresh-water Invertebrates of the United States, Protozoa to Mollusca. Wiley.

Smith, Douglas G. 1991. Keys to the Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of Massachusetts. Dept. of Zoology, University of Mass., Amherst, MA 01003-0027

Thorp, James H. and Alan P. Covich. 1991. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Academic Press Inc., San Diego, CA 92101

Voshell, J. Reese. 2002. A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, VA and Granville, OH


Redington, Charles B. 1994. Plants in Wetlands. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, Iowa 52004-0539

Tiner, Ralph W. , Jr. 1988. Field Guide to Nontidal Wetland Identification. Maryland Department of Natural Resources and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Vernal Pool Related Children's Books

I will recommend only the few that I own. I don't read a lot of children's books. Other people can help out here, I am sure.

John Himmelman has a ton of stuff worth considering. His website is worth checking to see the variety of his work. I have always liked A Salamander's Life and A Woodfrog's Life which you can reach from his main page.

Song of the Water Boatman by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange (wonderful woodcuts!). Essentially, the book follows the season of the pond in whimsical poetry and imaginative art.

Frog Heaven by Doug Wechsler. The cycle of a vernal pool in text and beautiful photography.

Posters and Prints

I am aware of several vernal pool posters (I did a few of them) and some artists providing images vernal pool aficionados might enjoy. If you know of others, let the VPA know.


Massachusetts has a vernal pool poster developed by the VPA. The VPA doesn't sell it as we don't deal with mail order at this time. It might be available from MA NHESP. They also have nifty turtle posters that we did for them.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has a vernal pool poster as well as posters for turtles, snakes, and amphibians. They have other posters and information as well.

The Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas has posters for snakes & lizards, turtles, salamanders and frogs. Click on "posters (for sale)".


Ethan Nedeau did the art and layout for the Maine posters mentioned above. He has prints from these posters and his other work available.

Abigail Rorer has illustrated many natural history publications. She has available for sale limited edition block prints and broadsides, many of vernal pool species and scenes.

And, since I like woodcuts so much, I'll throw in these two:

Betsy Bowen of Minnesota.

Mary Azarian of Vermont. "F is For Frog" and "Dragonfly".