Saturday, March 8, 2008

Let the games begin

Spring has sprung in the salamander and frog world. Frog eggs have already been spotted in central NJ. So that marked the beginning of the fun time of year at work. Friday we went out looking for a rare salamander. They travel from the woods down to ponds to lay their eggs. We went to what's known as a "control site" where there's a known population of this rare salamander. There were no eggs in the pond yet and we had searched under logs around the pond with no success. We were about to give up and it was really raining at this point. I just wasn't ready to leave and give up when I said that we should walk to the next pond just for comparison (and to make sure we were at the correct pond...which I had a 90% confidence). On the way there, we stopped by a larger log aka an actual fallen tree, when we found one hiding out beneath it. The salamanders are still enroute to the pond and are taken cover under logs in the surrounding woods. So we were excited and scoured under more logs and found three more. I'd like to think I had a hand in finding at least two since I grabbed the first one under a log that I liked the looks of. The second one was found under a log I liked but couldn't lift. So I had two guys come help me. It became like potato chips. You said just one more log and then we can go....but that went on for awhile. Unfortunately the best logs are ones I really can't move so that limits my luck in finding them.

It's pouring now and during the night that's when the action will really be on. So I may go out to the road that goes through my local wetland to see what sort of action is going on. I remember way back in the day driving through the Great Swamp where there would just be thousands of frogs jumping around on the road. I'd love to see that spectacle again.

4 comments:

Jules said...

The look really huge, are they?

Lioux said...

I Love, Love, Love that you get to work outside with critters and stuff.

Kartek said...

They are quite big...much larger than the common redback salamanders that most people find out in the woods. This one was especially juicy since it may have been a female carrying a boatload of unfertilized eggs.

Colleen said...

this reminded me that i was dreaming of salamanders the other night! they were hatching in my mind as well as in naitch.