A FRESH WATER INTERLUDE........We finally made it to the Sprague Pond Preserve, here in Phippsburg, despite the weekend rain. actually, the rain made it a frog paradise. Every where we went there were frogs in puddles, and even OUT OF THE WATER ON FERNS! Those fern climbers were tiny Spring Peepers that are technically a tree frog. Once matured adults, they leave the pond where they started life as eggs, having gone through the tadpole stage. These adult frogs are tiny and often go unobserved because of their size. Who would look for frogs on fern fronds? Amazing.
The rest of the frogs we encountered were Green Frogs with the diagnostic dorsal ridges. They didn't seem to be bothered by muddy puddles, though the water in Sprague Pond was clear and inviting. Here you see an admirer of these amphibians. She caught the frog with bare hands, though others used nets to temporarily capture these creatures for a closer look. I guess these animals aren't complaining about the rain.
The trail into Sprague Pond traverses a beaver dam that was overgrown with vegetation and leaking badly from all the rain. We paused to observe the flowers in bloom that prefer an aquatic environment. The beautiful blue Pickerelweed was in full bloom, along with a white blossomed Arrowhead. We saw no beavers, though observed their trails leading away from the water in search of food materials. I may have mentioned before that the campground has a resident beaver also, having set up housekeeping in the Lily Pond. It has not built a dam, but a lodge can be found with some careful searching. How that story plays out remains to be seen. The recent rains have kept the pond water high enough to provide protection for the beaver's underwater access to its lodge.
Now that the Red Tide closure has been lifted on Steamer Clams, we took advantage of the low tide to dig a few this week. There seemed to be plenty of holes to dig, though we had to be careful only to take those 2 inches in length. We used some of our catches to try our luck in fishing off the Yankee Dock. The only fish we caught were captured with a net and only about an inch in length. We caught several crabs, one of which snapped up one of our tiny fish for dinner. We also enjoyed exploring the animals that grow on the floating dock, including Hydroids, Skeleton Shrimp and small mussels. The biggest and most exciting catch was a Sea Star! Imagine catching a sea star using a fish line. We learned the clam bait was tasty for these echinoderms, but this was a first.
So that is a brief report of our findings up here in warm, moist Maine. 7/25/06 Frog loving Ronnie.