Vernal or ephemeral pools, are temporary pools of water. They are usually devoid of fish, and thus allow the safe development of natal amphibian and insect species. Most pools are dry for at least part of the year and fill with the winter rains. 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 peak depth in the spring (“vernal” meaning of, relating to, or occurring in the spring). Despite being dry at times, once filled they teem with life making them an important asset to the ecology of an area. The Banning Ranch area hosts many vernal pools.
Link to California Coastal Commission PowerPoint Presentation on Vernal Pools
Official Biologist Vernal Pool Surveys – Years 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010/2011, 2012
Complete Banning Ranch Mesa Vernal Pools/Wetlands Second Edition 8/11/2011
(Power Point Slide Show – 17.3 MB)
Link to Rebuttal to the Vernal Pool Topical Response of the draft Environment Impact Report
This first series of slides show the Vernal Pool near Ticonderoga Street (Newport Crest) as it appeared December 22, 2011 – February 5, 2011…….some additional photos are also shown.
This is the same Vernal Pool as it appeared on May 1, 2011
This is the same Vernal Pool as it appeared on May 26, 2011 – after mowing (more on mowing).
Ticonderoga Vernal Pool – 2005
Ticonderoga Vernal Pool – 1995