What is a Vernal Pool?

By Chris Swarth
July 31, 2013

Vernal pools are shallow, intermittently or seasonally flooded wetlands. Wetland ecologists refer to them as "seasonally astatic and episodic."

Badgers Make an Appearance in the Reserve

Chris Swarth
May 2, 2013

On March 20, while exploring the reserve east of the old barn, several of us were startled to see a new face on the landscape.

There was no doubt about the animal we were viewing - it was an American badger. The distinctive black-and-white-striped face stared intently at us as we looked at it through our binoculars at a distance of about 100 meters.

A Hike Across the Grasslands

Chris Swarth
January 23, 2013

A cool, cloudy day offers the perfect chance for a camera-safari and get-acquainted hike across the planned Grassland-Vernal Pool Natural Reserve.

Jan. 23, was a perfect day for a trek across the grasslands of the planned UC Merced Grassland-Vernal Pool Natural Reserve. The sky was completely overcast with low, dark clouds, but there was no wind and temperatures were mild. Predicted rain showers never materialized.


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