Roldan at the Vernal Pool

The world is full of unique plants and animals. If you go outside to a natural area and look in the right places, you will observe the lives of many small animals. I have always been interested in the little creatures of the world and tried to watch them whenever possible. I am interested in plants, also, and if they can be eaten or used for medicine.

When I heard about the vernal pool program, I thought it would be the type of activity I would like to do. I like getting in the water and searching to see if there are frog or salamander eggs, scanning the leaf litter for wood frogs, and discovering leeks and fiddlehead ferns. So I decided to try it out, and now, starting my third year, I want to continue visiting this unique place.

I like going to a place that is away from everything. It’s rare to find a space nowadays that does not have a highway right next to it, where you can’t hear cars or see buildings. It’s nice how calm it is. I started monitoring the vernal pool because I think it’s special to take care of a critical process to many animals’ lives. I like all the different sorts of creatures, like insects, amphibians, and plants, and how they each have some unique characteristics, like that the caddis fly makes its home out of pieces of wood and leaves salamanders and frogs lay their eggs stuck to twigs. It’s also nice to be in charge of a bit of piece of land, to monitor things, to check up on things, to see something, and to look for something that you wouldn’t typically have looked for. It’s reassuring that they’re there.

I need to volunteer. You can’t do everything because of money. It’s essential to enjoy volunteering. I benefit from being there because it’s a place away from other familiar places. I forget about other worries and responsibilities. I also enjoy sharing my interest and knowledge with my sisters and my parents. I like to teach them how to tell the difference between frog and salamander eggs and show them how fairy shrimp swim. My life is very busy with school and my other hobbies like LEGO building and sailing, but I think it is vital to maintain a connection with nature, and that is why I keep going to the vernal pool year after year.

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