For this first foray out into the woods, we're checking out something called vernal pools. Vernal, meaning springtime, and pools as in... pools. These are little (and sometimes not so little!) pools that form when spring rains combine with winter snow-melt to make some really wet spots. These puddles might look a little gross, especially after they have been sitting there for a few weeks--and are full of all sorts of sliminess--but they are absolutely essential to all sorts of bizarre critters.
You'll never listen to the spring peepers the same way again.