Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Spotted Salamander invasion!
Last night Meg let the dogs out the front door while it was raining. At her feet she found not one but two Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) at her feet attempting to crawl inside the house. So I helped her coax them back outside while she managed the dogs.
A little history on these salamanders here. About 8-9 years ago I found 2 of them in the then new water garden (it's is gone now due to the addition), they laid eggs and the eggs might have made it. One was a spotless Spotted Salamander which is the only one I ever saw. They appeared in the water garden most every year in February to lay eggs (or feed the Bullfrogs eggs). Last year in mid summer while removing the old furnace we found a pair of them under the furnace pad, and later that week I found 2 more under some roofing tins I have in the woods for snakes to rest under.
FYI these are mole salamanders common to the southeastern US. Usually the only time one sees them is on the first cold rainy night in February unless they are found under logs rocks ect. And they are around 8 inches long the biggest salamander we have in this part of the country.
Last night was also the first night this year we had a frog concert, the Spring Peepers gave a mild performance, Meg told me about them late late night apparently my hearing is not as good as it used to be or Meg's hearing is better than mine. The new windows seems to insulate the sound from the outside pretty well. This Spring Peeper I took the photo along my pond in 2004, you can identify them by the X on the back.