Other amphibians may join the fun. Eastern newts, American toads, green frogs seek each other out, and every wilted cattail stalk bears a Spring Peeper, calling, the mass of them creating a din that can drive a human mad.
Whups, I hadn't intended to wax poetic on amphibian mating. I guess the point of this post is that on warm, rainy nights in late winter or early spring, a heck of a lot goes on beneath the ice in this pond -- and probably every similarly-sized pond still surrounded by native forest in northeastern North America. And once you witness the explosive spectacle of amphibian breeding at such a pond, and contemplate that this occurs every year, and has been happening for tens of thousands of years, it becomes diffficult to see forest and pond as separate things.
This pond is maintained by a series of large dams. The concept of the beaver as a "keystone species" seems apt, considering the vast numbers of other species that make use of beaver ponds for food, shelter, reproduction, and (for aquatic species) basic habitat.
Beneath the fallen leaves, the salamanders stir.