Friday, June 1, 2012
Santa Rosa Plateau 2 - Vernal Pool
Vernal pools are small ponds that form, not from natural springs or a stream/river flow, but the collection of winter rains or snow melt and are usually at their highest point in the spring ("vernal" meaning spring). There are some fairly large ones in this ecological reserve area, but if you go anytime other than late winter/early spring, they are likely to be dry, as was the case last time I was here. Then, it becomes a big, dry bed of cracked mud and no life. This image is from a couple of years ago, when it was pretty full and teeming with life. No fish here, but amphibians and some other creatures have adapted to the temporary but protected nature of the environment, like this little guy that I caught swimming in the reeds. (Sorry, I don't know the species).