The same cold gray rainy weather that sent me flying home this afternoon with a burning need to make scones (yes, ME, make scones, and they were really good!) was exactly the day that was perfect for sending the wood frogs down to their mating pond for what P and I call the frog wedding.
The wedding actually started yesterday before the rain moved in, and today was prime wedding weather. All I could see were rings in the water marking the spots from which frogs had disappeared as I approached the pond (4137). In a few days eggs will lace the edges of the two ponds in the grasses that grow there. Based on the loud quacking sound that I could hear from quite a distance down the trail, these are wood ducks. There are also southern leopard frogs around here, so I drew one from a photograph. But I believe the frogs in the pond are the wood frogs (4136). Their mating ritual is described as an "explosive synchronous migration", and that's a great description. Apparently the adults hibernate in the woods near the fish-free pond (which is for most of the frogs their natal pond) in shallow depressions under the soil until just the right combination of temperature and precipitation wakes them up and draws them to the pond. This is supposed to be a good year for amphibians with the very wet winter and presence of a large number of ephemeral ponds. Frogs need to mate in fish-free ponds because fish are predators of their eggs and tadpoles.