You'll see several small ponds like this one throughout Briones. Some are stock ponds, created for the cattle herds that use the park. Others are vernal pools, which fill in the rainy season and dry up during the summer. Both types of pools provide important habitat for amphibians and other species.
If you're near a body of water, these small frogs will let you know. Despite their size, Pacific Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris regilla) have a loud, high pitched call. You probably won't see them, though. These frogs hide in burrows and holes around bodies of water.
Many species of frogs lay eggs in loose clusters, such as this one. They're often attached to sticks or foliage in ponds or pools.
During mating season, you'll see California Newts (Taricha torosa) in many of Briones' ponds. They arrive beginning in December each year for mating season, having migrated to the ponds from their homes on land. If you do encounter newts in the ponds, make sure to give this sensitive species plenty of space.
Female California Newts lay their eggs in dense balls in the shallow areas of ponds or pools. After mating, both the female and male newts leave the ponds and head back to their life on land.