Friday, June 22, 2018

Hence the Name ...

Ephemeral Pond.

In the prior post I noted that I had not been back to see how the Spadefoot Toads were doing. That is no longer the case. I figured that ten days from when we saw the toads should be sufficient time for tadpoles to be swimming around.

This is what that spot looked like today at lunch time:

Dry as the proverbial bone. Ephemeral for sure. From ankle deep to nothing in less than two weeks.

Also noted in that prior post was the speeded up life cycle from egg to toad, "The eggs can hatch as quickly as in one day when it is hot but may take as long as two weeks when cooler. Tadpoles can metamorphose in as little as two weeks or as many as eight. This too is temperature dependent."

We don't know if the eggs hatched and the tadpoles had time to mature enough to survive on (or in this case under) dry land. I sure hope so. I was rather hot this past week so there is that.


Spadefoot Toads spend most of their life underground. Waiting. Waiting for the right conditions to mate. Barb has told us that the toads had not been seen nor heard at this site for eight years. Were they underground all that time? Or were they elsewhere, at other ponds in other years?

These toads called for one night and one night only. Our friend Bernie wanted to see them, but was not available on the evening we went. The next night Barb reported there was no activity. Nor the night after that.

Eight years of silence and then one night of frenzied activity. Crazy.

I wonder how long Bernie will need to wait until the next time?

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