Review our guidelines to discover what to expect, what to bring and where to meet.
field Trip GuidelinesCape Ann Vernal Pond Team
PLEASE READ THIS
We have a lot of new people on the email list this year, so I want to go over the field trip procedure. For many of you this will be a review.
We have both daytime and nighttime field trips
Daytime field trips
- happen after other amphibian egg masses start to show up in the ponds
- we are usually searching for egg masses to photograph for certification
- we may see frogs, fairy shrimp, insects and leeches
Nighttime field trips
- we generally meet at the Walgreens/Dunkin Donuts parking lot on Main Street in Gloucester at the appointed time. Most people drive their own car (or buddy up) from the parking lot to the pool. That way you can leave whenever you get cold, wet, tired or bored. Many field trippers do not care to stay out as long as I do. Which is fine.
- usually happen when the air temperature is 45F or above. Usually rainy or foggy. About 9:30pm
- we hope to see migrating and/or breeding spotted salamanders, wood frogs and spring peepers
- we may see some other things like fairy shrimp, water bugs and leeches
- you'll need a flashlight. Mag lights and 6 volt lights are good. Some people have some of those nice LED ones. Everyone must have a flashlight so you can shine the ground in front of you as you walk to the pond. Salamanders may be walking too, and they aren't fast enough to get out of your way. We don't want to step on any amphibians.
- we generally meet at the Walgreens/Dunkin Donuts parking lot on Main Street in Gloucester at about 9:00 pm. Most people drive their own car (or buddy up) from the parking lot to the pool. That way you can leave whenever you get cold, wet, tired or bored. Many field trippers do not care to stay out as long as I do. Which is fine.
You usually won't get much notice because there are lots of variables (for instance, the air temp. might be right, but the ground might still be frozen, and the amphibians may decide to stay home). The critters don't tell us what they're going to do. And we don't have a crystal ball here, so I'll try to give you my best guess as to when a field trip is coming up, but you may only get 2-3 hours notice. So watch your emails.
So, anyway, put your rain gear, boots (just for a muddy walk, you won't be wading) and flashlight by the door and be ready. I would encourage you to check this out if you haven't already. If we get a good night, its an amazing spectacle and really the fun part of vernal ponding.
Try not to spray your boots and hands with any kind of bug spray... they will be in contact with water and possibly creatures.
We'll need lots of experienced field trippers to assist in leading. I think we'll have a lot of new people this year.
Check your emails often for the latest updates. We will make every effort to give as much notice as possible, but sometimes it may not be until 6:30-7pm on the night of the trip. We will try to do this whole thing by email. We used to do it by phone, but that's a real pain.
Hope to see you out there.
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