Thursday, March 26, 2009

ISO Salamanders

We had hoped to see hundreds of these little beauties wriggling across the road to their ancestral breeding ponds. The conditions need to be just right for it to happen: 1. temperature above 40-45 degrees, 2. wet/rainy, 3. dark, 4. usually first or second week of April.
It was 52 degrees and it had rained on and off all day. So we headed out around 8:00 pm. A friend from our homeschool group had seen a few migrating a week or so ago so we thought we'd check it out. The rangers close the roads to cars and people come armed with umbrellas, flashlights and cameras. It's pretty cool to be walking down the middle of the road in the Metroparks after dark. We heard a lovely chorus of spring peepers and wood frogs. They sounded like they were having quite the party out there in the woods. We ventured "off road" just a bit to see what we could see. And, lo and behold, I spotted some spots! This poor little guy was lucky to be alive because Steve, Benjamin and Rachel had already walked through this very spot. (I'm trying not to think about the unfortunate ones we didn't see in time under the leaves.) A few minutes later Steve saw another one that quickly darted away. Unfortunately, we didn't see any other action except for the several deer we saw on the way home. But it was great fun to get out "after dark" for some exercise and fresh air in the lungs and hear the sounds of nature in action!

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