Frequently called bear wallows by old-time woodsmen and hunters, these woodland pools are now frequently called seasonal pools. Actually they’re pingo scars, remnants of the last glaciation which ended in northcentral Pennsylvania over 10,000 years ago. See this post for a further explanation of pingo scars.
The pools are “seasonal” because they normally go through a seasonal cycle, holding water from snowmelt and rainfall in spring and early-summer, drying out in late summer and beginning to refill in late-fall and winter. Since they frequently dry completely they harbor no fish and therefore are vital places for amphibians, especially salamanders, to reproduce.
Seasonal pools are also important to many other creatures. Bears use them to cool down on hot summer days; raccoons spend a lot of time hunting for the pools’ amphibian inhabitants; they’re water sources for birds and mammals; and breeding sites for insects.
For three summers I had a camera trap overlooking a seasonal pool in the Big Woods; some of the results were posted here, here and here. Now it's a camera trap that takes videos day and night overlooking the pool, some videos of a bear doing what bears do in a bear wallow were in an earlier post.
Again this summer the pool attracted other species of wildlife in addition to bears –
A camera will be at this pool to capture images of more visitors for another month or so.