Ranch Ponds in Spring

During March, April and May, the ranch ponds come alive. The early breeders are tiger salamanders, tree frogs and newts. Shortly thereafter come the red-legged frogs. Although you seldom see the adults in winter, their eggs appear each March.

The red-legged frog eggs are well developed.

California newts breed in the ponds and are particularly abundant in ponds that hold water throughout the year.

 As early as December, the tiger salamanders lay their individual eggs on grass stems and small branches. By May, the larvae are sometimes visible in ponds. On a good year like this, the ponds blossom in tadpoles and insects. The salamanders grow rapidly.

When they're abundant and the water's clear, you can sometimes spot the larvae.

By April, the garter snakes arrive and chase down tadpoles and salamander. They are impressive swimmers.

When the garter snakes find the ponds, they feed voraciously.

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