Friday, April 08, 2005

MUCH BIGGER NIGHT!!!!!

Hurray!! Last night was definitely a Big Night for our amphibian friends! I got the biggest dose of spotted salamander I've ever had & it'll take me a while to come down off the high...

So how about this Beauty?

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It started raining around 8:30 and by 10:00 it was still in the high 40's temp-wise, so Laura and I went off down the driveway with our raincoats & flashlights. Our first encounter was with a nice wood frog, then a very small frog (later determined to be a gray tree frog). At the end of the driveway Laura found the first Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander) who was headed across the road. We walked about a third of a mile down the road and over the next 1 1/2 hours helped a grand total of 14 spotted salamanders, approx. 20 wood frogs, several peepers (Hyla crucifer) and two green frogs cross the road and be on their merry way! Strong little wiggly slimy things...I love it!! Perhaps we'll find their vernal pool one of these days...

Oh, and we could definitely tell the difference between the female salamanders and wood frogs (fat with eggs) and male salamanders and woodfrogs (skinny). Some of the salamanders were at least 7 inches long! Laura took a lot of pictures -- see her blog for more. Unfortunately there were some casualties in the road -- we found 3 spotties and 2 wood frogs that didn't make it, somewhat spoiling my otherwise utter elation!

In pre-school this morning, we went down to one of the pools at the Village but we were unable to find any evidence of amphibian activity. I'll keep checking. Tomorrow night I'm headed down to Ipswich Riverto help out with their "It's the Big Night" program which we developed last year. I get to dress up as a blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale) and teach people about amphibian life cycles.

That's it for now -- listen for peepers & enjoy this fabulous time of year!!!!

1 Comments:

Blogger Liz said...

Yay!! So it should be soon here, then. I love those little spotties...we had one living in our sump hole a couple of years ago, we tried to bring him out to the vernal pond, but he escaped, only to show up again the next year. I guess he likes it down there. :)

8:35 AM  

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