Here where I live in western North Carolina, it is a warm and sunny day, following several days of rain and cooler temperatures. I took a break at lunch to walk down to the little pond on my property–the same one that less than a month ago was teeming with wood frog eggs– pretty sure of what I was going to find.
Predictably, there on top of the clear, gelatinous mass were thousands of tiny black tadpoles. Born with tails and gills but no legs, the small creatures feed on plant detritus and algae. Plenty of larger creatures like other frog tadpoles and red-spotted salamanders were there along with me, happy to find a ready-made meal just waiting to be eaten.