Have you ever seen red mushrooms growing in San Diego?
This was my first time, so I had to whip out the ole camera….
We were hiking in Penasquitos Canyon Reserve on a trail we’ve visited many times….
(Don’t worry – the trail doesn’t take you into forbidden land…)
We did stop to look at the Vernal Pool – thankfully it’s been preserved even though there
is construction nearby….
Vernal pools are temporary pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals. They are considered to be a distinctive type of wetland usually devoid of fish, and thus allow the safe development of amphibians and insects.
Most pools are dry for at least part of the year, and fill with the winter rains or snow melt. Some pools may remain at least partially filled with water over the course of a year or more, but all vernal pools dry up periodically.
They are called vernal pools because they are often, but not necessarily, at their maximum depth in the spring (“vernal” meaning of, relating to, or occurring in the spring).
Despite being dry at times, once filled, vernal pools teem with life. The most obvious inhabitants are various species of frogs and toads. Other notable inhabitants are Daphnia and fairy shrimp, the latter often used as an indicator species to decisively define a vernal pool.