Tilled soil is scooped up and moved to its new location. In this pool, excavation stopped just atop the bedrock.
The local White-tail Deer population was quick to claim this as a preferred watering site. Soil that was used to form a shallow dam at the low end of the pool suffered severe trampling. The deer had the area looking much like a confined livestock area.
Elimination of the fescue was a primary consideration in choosing this particular site.
My hope was that this spring would produce a strong enough flow to keep the pool full of water.
I had hopes that the toad pool would also support the local salamander population, but knew it was unlikely that any salamanders would appear there the first year. I was right. The pool remained empty.
Dozens of egg clusters clung to the submerged tree branches.
Since I was going to be making frequent visits to the toad pool through the coming year, I wanted to make sure there would be some interesting things to see. I thought the insect larvae developing in the pool might support salamander larvae, so I moved a couple of salamander egg clusters from pond to pool.
I was curious to see if the newly constructed pool would be able to satisfy the needs of the developing larvae.
I witnessed one salamander larva making a meal of a newly hatched tadpole.
This shot on May 23 shows the pool still full of water. Had the spring not stopped flowing a week earlier, I would have been confident of the pool’s ability to hold water long enough for the salamanders and frogs to complete their metamorphosis and move away from the water.
This individual illustrates the average stage of development and is about two weeks from leaving the water. A few more rapidly developing larvae had already moved out of the water to hide beneath wet vegetation at the pool’s edge.
Several had already moved away from the pool.
Had there been a normal precipitation pattern, the pool would have remained full plenty long enough for the amphibian larvae to leave the water before it left them.
The dozen or so remaining salamander larvae would be independent of the water within a few days. Knowing that salamander larvae survival is often quite low in typical breeding pools, I was happy with the number of pool raised individuals that made it to the land dwelling stage.