Croaking Frogs

A huge thanks to the City of Kitchener and school boards for acquiring and developing HNA! What a glorious asset for all to enjoy! A few years ago, before HNA was officially open, we met an older man and woman at HNA. Apparently they grew up on the lands that make up HNA. They informed us that HNA consisted of portions of three farms. The woman told us that when she was a little girl she used to collect fresh watercress from the streams and sell it at Kitchener Market.

Usually we hear spring peepers but on this walk (early April 2020) we heard numerous smaller frogs (not sure of the exact species). They were very active in what I'm sure is an ephemeral (vernal) pond.;  that is, such ponds tend to dry up later in the summer and serve as a breeding place for frogs. It was located at about 43.391720, -80.471840 (be sure to examine this Google Maps link using the satellite layer). This particular ephemeral pond is located upward (north, maybe about 350-400 m) off the trail near the larger pond. The larger pond is sometimes called the Mill Pond or Battler's Pond [View New Aberdeen Plan (PDF) dated 1856 >>> New Aberdeen Plan]. Another couple of markers near this pond that might help with finding the smaller pond would be a large patch of  periwinkle and a cluster of crumbled concrete that may be the remains of an old dug well. Those interested in history may like to know that this area north and south of Huron Road was set for development around 1850 but the village of New Aberdeen never fully materialized. Read about New Aberdeen ... the village that didn't catch on.

At this smaller pond we noticed numerous dark, jelly-like masses of frog eggs in the water that had been laid by the females. They sort of look like a cluster of translucent tapioca spheres with dots in the middle. We had missed the breeding process. As the female frog lays the egg mass, the male grasps her from behind and sprays sperm over the egg mass. The sperm fertilize the eggs (external fertilization). I remember watching such jelly-clutches (masses) of eggs develop into "pollywogs" when I was a kid, otherwiswe known as tadpoles.

Frog Egg Clutch

Frog Egg Clutch

Frogs "Singing"

Links to more pictures:

Snowstools | A "Pileated" White Pine | Red Trillium Variant at Huron Natural Area | Snowshoe at rare Charitable Research Reserve 2014 | A Story of Two Amulrees & The Highland Clearances | The Swamp Crew | Tynemouth Hooligans | "Wild Turkeys" | Hackberry | Turk's-cap Lily | Snowshoeing at Petersburg Tract 2015 | Niagara Glen | Massasauga rattlesnake  | We Hiked the Bruce Trail In Small Doses | Frogs Croaking at Huron Natural Area | Female flower of Black Pine  | Canada Goose Nesting | Red-Tailed Hawks | Snapping Turtle | Thistles & Tongue Twister ... more to follow .