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Pool Time! IPR takes you to a northern Michigan vernal pool

Daffodils and trilliums get all the love. But deeper in the woods, another iconic marker of spring has started to appear: vernal pools.

These shallow pools take shape as the snow melts and spring rains arrive, and then dry up by early fall.

They are key parts of Michigan’s spring landscape, providing breeding grounds for all sorts of insects, frogs and salamanders.

IPR environment reporter Ellie Katz went to Grass River Natural Area in Antrim County, where it’s the job of conservation director Sean Callahan to find the pools, document them and preserve them.

They went out after dark one April night, which is when the pools come to life.

Listen to the audio postcard in the player above.

Ellie Katz joined IPR in June 2023. She reports on science, conservation and the environment.