Vernal Pools

Vernal pools occur world-wide. They are common across the landscape in the glaciated northeastern United States, forming in small kettle ponds left behind as the glaciers melted away, in spring-fed holes and ditches that hold water for a portion of the year but dry out regularly. 

These ephemeral wetlands serve critically important roles as host to an amazing diversity of organisms including salamanders and frogs, mammals, birds, turtles and snakes, and a staggering diversity of invertebrates.

The Vernal Pool Association works to share information, images, stories, and wonder for these little gems of the forest.

Explore our site, and keep up with Vernal Pool Association by checking out our most recent blog posts here. We maintain an email listserve of several hundred vernal pool enthusiasts who share observations, questions, and expertise. We encourage anyone that is interested in vernal pools - wherever you are in the world - to join the vernal pool listserve

Vernal pools are ephemeral wetlands. The basin is permanent, but the water comes and goes. Seasonal photos of the same pool shot from the same location can tell a compelling story about cycles in vernal pools. Now would be the time to begin (or continue) a multi-season photo shoot of a vernal pool. We welcome contributions such as the one below from our friends at Walden Woods Project.

Vernal Pool - winter
Vernal Pool - Fall
A pool familiar to Henry D. Thoreau at Walden Woods in winter and fall.
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Field Guide to the Animals of
Vernal Pools
Winter Pool by April Jubett. Fairy shrimp and caddisflies are active amidst the emergent cranberry plants with frozen berries from the previous fall.