Monday, August 29, 2011

Middle Fork Boreal Toadlets Aug 2008 (lots of pictures)

A few summers ago I got a phone call from a land owner along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.  She wanted to know for sure what species the tadpoles were in their pond.  Each day at 2pm they would emerge from the tall grasses and sedges where a small creek feeds the pond.  Thousands of tadpoles would appear and form a stripe of black, traveling adjacent to shore for quite some distance and around a big bend in the pond until they reached their sunning spot.

I've used these photos in a few educational activities and presentations and kids and teachers would LOVE to go there and see for themselves, which I would LOVE to orchestrate in the future.  Timing would be a bugger with a school group, but at the very least I would like to take my girl scout troop there some time.  The Flathead also does an annual Herp Day with the would be nice to somehow incorporate the site.  Makes a great picture for training for something like that, as we usually verbally describe the way the toadlets bunch up and that they can raise the temperature of the water there are so many of them.

By 3 o'clock there wasn't a single toadlet left in the pond.  I will never get bored with the little stuff.  Toads are so much fun.

The toadlets closest to shore kicked up mud and darted away when startled.

The barbed wire above the log is where Forest Service land begins. 
Where some of the toadlets continued on and crossed onto FS land,
they made a visible u-turn rather quickly and headed back.
 There was a fat garter snake sitting near the log eating toadlets.

Near the fence in the photo is where a stream feeds the pond

Across the highway from the toads was a forest fire (Triangle Fire, I think?)