Photo of Red Eft in hand

Birds were singing — we heard a Winter Wren, Ovenbird, and Northern Waterthush. Biting flies were out, and we had recently emerged Black Flies in our faces, but they weren’t quite biting yet.

Photo of girl standing in rain-dimpled pond

We directed out attention to a much neglected corner of our Study Area — the far southwestern corner, in fact. The small patch of deciduous forest there had some Saskatoonberry trees with their white flowers, and quite a number of American Beech trees with uncharacteristic white stripes on the bark. These were aggregations of white, waxy Beech Bark Scales, first stage in a disfiguring and generally fatal disease complex. We found the first occurrence of this introduced just last year (see May 28, 2016 for more information), about a quarter mile distant.

A shallow wetland yielded small tadpoles of two sizes; the smallest ones were developing hind legs, so were probably Spring Peepers. We didn’t hear any Peepers calling all day; their breeding season is over, and they have returned to the forests they occupy in summer. Eastern Newts were also reported here.

On land, under rocks and logs, we found many, many introduced earthworms, some beetle larvae, ant colonies, and some more salamanders. Among them were two Red Efts, the terrestrial juvenile stage of the Eastern Newt.