Late at night, I listen to the peepers in the vernal pool down in my woods. During a vernal pool monitoring project run by the University of Maine at Orono in 2009, I learned that most wood frogs leave a vernal pool at the northeastern point of the pool and head for uplands, where they spend the summer. But a few less successful frogs go in the wrong direction. I wondered what happens to those frogs. It seemed like a riddle that prompted answering…
Yet another challenge recently there has been a lot of discussion about proposed legislative changes to protection for significant vernal pools in Maine. Many experts testified at an April 25th hearing in Augusta on the importance of vernal pool protections. They achieved their goal and the committee voted to keep the state’s vernal pool protection laws, which have been in place since 2006. For a fact sheet on Vernal Pool Regulation in Maine, see http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/reg/VernalPoolRegulationMaineFAQ.pdf For more information about the University of Maine’s Vernal Pool Project, visit:http://www.umaine.edu/vernalpools/
The vernal pool in my woods inspired this poem about a wayward wood frog named Wren.
Once upon a Vernal Pool
Once upon a midnight clearing
April rains had ceased to fall
A lonely loon far off called dearly
Wood frogs, from a vernal pool,
Most had spawned, left the pool
Heading northeast to uplands
Except for Wren, the little fool,
A wood frog who lived for wetlands.
Little Wren, so full of cheer,
Chirped into the late May nights
When all of her friends disappeared,
She hopped to it, setting her sights
On a stream she crossed in floods
That Big Night. Fast water trailed
Down through the thick woods
And Wren climbed aboard a stick
With trembling leaves, she sailed.
To read full poem, click here.
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