Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Drought 2017 - Toad Pool

After several months of experiencing rain storms two or three times per week, the rain has stopped.  Three weeks of dry, hot weather has left the Toad Pool as nothing but a small patch of mud.  The last bit of open water disappeared on June 12.

The water level remained good until June 2.  That is when temperatures began reaching 90°F and strong, dry winds began to blow.  Under these conditions, you could almost see the pool growing smaller.

On June 5, an approaching storm front gave hope of some much needed rain.  When just a few miles away, the line of rain formed a gap that neatly slid over Blue Jay Barrens.  I could see the rain clouds to the north and south of us, but not a drop fell here. 

By June 8 the water depth was down to about two inches.  Forecast was for dry and windy conditions.  Fortunately, the bulk of the toad tadpoles had morphed into tiny toadlets by the end of May.  The pool had served its intended purpose well.

An interesting pattern was left behind by the tadpoles.  While feeding, each tadpole would work its way down into the mud as it searched out algae and other tiny food items.  The tadpole’s head would remain stationary and the body would rotate around that fixed point.  The result was a depression in the mud.  This pattern of dimples covered the bottom of the pool.

My photos of the depressions turned out to be good examples of the Dimple and Bump Optical Illusion.  Depending on how it is viewed, the pattern may appear to be a series of indentations or a series of raised bumps.  I can manage to switch back-and-forth between seeing dimples and bumps.  My wife sees only bumps, but she has taught High School English for 35 years so …

A mixed bag of mammals and birds have been visiting the pool for water and to take advantage of any food morsels left vulnerable by the shrinking pool.  Rain storms began moving through the area yesterday.  Flash flooding has occurred just a few miles from our location, but we have only managed to get rains just slightly stronger than a drizzle.  I hope this doesn’t continue as a summer long pattern.


  1. Glad to know it served its purpose. Neat pattern of Tadpole dimples!

    1. Hi, Stew. It's nice to have a few things turn out the way they are supposed to.