The weather in Arkansas has been spring like here in the middle of February. I have seen a lot of things that are responding to this warm weather.
I was walking around a small mountain pond checking for animal tracks when I saw a jellylike substance near the edge of the pond. When I got closer to it I notice several more. I made several photos and when I got back home, I did some research and I think these were Salamander eggs.
If you look closely at the egg mass, you can see the developing larvae. Salamander larvae are susceptible to being eaten by fish, which is why they typically lay their eggs only in vernal pools that don’t have fish. I have never seen fish in this pond.
I read that Salamanders and frogs have a similar life-cycle that includes laying eggs in water, which hatch into an aquatic (swimming) juvenile stage, and finally an adult stage that lives on land. Frog and toad eggs hatch into tadpoles. Salamander eggs, hatch into larvae. A Salamander larva looks more like an adult salamander than a tadpole is like the adult toad or frog. In Salamander larvae, the front legs appear first, the opposite of tadpoles, and the Salamander larvae often has those front legs even before it hatches.
Baby Salamanders emerge from these eggs after a few weeks, living off yolk reserves for a while, but eventually turning into hungry predators of just about anything that moves in the pond and is small enough to eat. They are even known to eat other Salamander larvae!
After more research I am going to take a guess that these eggs are from the Spotted Salamander.
The spotted salamander usually makes its home in hardwood forest areas with vernal pools, which are necessary for breeding. They cannot breed in most permanent pools because the fish inhabiting the pools would eat the salamander eggs and larvae. Spotted salamanders are fossorial, meaning they spend most of their time underground. They rarely come above ground, except after a rain or for foraging and breeding. During the winter, they hibernate underground, and are not seen again until breeding season in early March–May. (Wikipedia)