There was still ice on the vernal pools in the Town Forest when I was there in March, and tonight’s visit was planned then. It went more or less as I had hoped.
It rained today in the late afternoon and evening, but it was just misty as I climbed the steep ridge east of Upper Plains Road at 8:00 PM. I could hear lots of spring peepers calling behind me even from the top of the ridge, and when I crested the ridge, I could also hear them in front of me.
There were several peepers calling in the vernal pools between the ridge and Bryant Mountain, and a few wood frogs as well. I quickly found some wood frog egg masses, but only in one place at the deepest part of the pool. About 15 separate masses were attached to branches in 5 inches of water, all within a few feet of one another.
There were some handsome predaceous diving beetles (probably Acilius mediatus) swimming around the eggs. I saw one wood frog, and on a mossy island found a pair of spring peepers who I interrupted to photograph. One of them (the male) was calling and puffing out its throat, the other was just listening (nevertheless, probably a female).
I had to put the camera away and don raingear for the walk out. I lost the route and stumbled upon a porcupine den I had never seen before. I am not sure I could ever find it in the daylight.