1a - 6 1a - 6
7 - 14 7 - 14
15 - 22 15 - 22
23 - 30 23 - 30
31 - 38 31 - 38
39 - 46 39 - 46
47 - 54 47 - 54
55 - 62 55 - 62
63 - 70 63 - 70
71 - 78 71 - 78

Vernal Pool Slides

These pages have 80 slides accompanied by a description. This is not a slide program but rather a collection of slides and information. If you would like to view a slide program assembled from these slides, go to the slide program index.

1A.Wicked Big Puddles. Vernal pools are ephemeral wetlands holding water for a few months a year. The Vernal Pool Association began as a student project of Reading Memorial High School, Reading, MA. Our goal is to encourage the appreciation, protection, and interdisciplinary study of vernal pools. We like think of vernal pools as "wicked big puddles".
1B. The Sweet Water Trust. This slide program was developed and first distributed as part of an educator's resource kit which is titled Diving Into Wicked Big Puddles. The construction and distribution of the kit was made possible through a grant from The Sweet Water Trust.
1C. Thank you. For more information on vernal pools contact the Vernal Pool Association, Massachusetts Audubon Society or the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
2. Vernal pool in winter. Many pools fill in fall or winter. Frozen ground helps retain water produced by rains or melting. Vernal pools are easily visible when ice-covered in the leafless forest. (Slides #2, 3, and 4 are of the same pool in different seasons and years.)

photograph © Tom Lautzenheiser
3. Vernal pool in spring. Vernal pools contain water for a few months in the spring and early summer. This view of a pool shows a low water level in a dry spring. The greatest amount of biological activity in a pool takes place in the spring when the ice thaws.
4. Vernal pool in summer. Vernal pools are often completely dry by summer or early fall, keeping them free of populations of fish. Some pools retain water year round yet have a low concentration of oxygen when warm and shallow, a condition which precludes fish. The person is holding a sign with pool information for certification.
5. Vernal pool with closed canopy. This pool is deep in a forest in a depression formed by a number of hills. The dense stand of maples, oaks and other plants assures a closed canopy over the pool. A closed canopy could affect the pool by delaying warming of the pool water and slowing evaporation. Vernal pool biology is controlled by water depth, temperature, duration and other conditions.
6. Vernal pool with open canopy. The large open canopy of this pool allows for quicker warming of the water and faster development of eggs which are often laid in the open area of a pool. An open canopy could also hasten evaporation and shorten the time for development.