Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | April 1, 2013

Why DID the Salamander cross the road?

…. To get to the Vernal Pool of course!

With Easter dinner settling in our tummies, and March Madness calmed down, the question was, just veg on the couch or head over to Beekman Road in East Brunswick to see a remarkable sight and a sure sign of spring?

A text came earlier in the day that with mild temps (46ºF) and a light drizzle, conditions seemed good for Spotted Salamander migration. But, it is thought that much of the migration had already occurred when I was sidelined by another sign of spring – my annual sinus infection.

Full of Ravioli and amazing cheeses and Italian pastry, I admit, the sofa was calling. BUT THEN the tweet came…  a photo – A Spotted Salamander (in hand) with the caption “Now on Beekman Road.” I think Rob and I got ready in record time!

We jumped in the car, and headed toward East Brunswick with flashlight in hand and arrived 20 minutes later.

The fine volunteers of EBEC help close the road (with the help of the town of East Brunswick, of course) whenever a good migration night is expected.

20130331_205449

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The Salamanders are crossing the road to get to the vernal pools to mate when conditions are right. Unfortunately, on a normal day, cars are zipping through without any idea what may be on the road. So when conditions are right, the Salamanders are given “right of way.”

When we arrived, Rob and I walked the road, sweeping the flashlight from side to side, in search of one of these beauties (and to make sure we did not “squish” one.) We met up with two volunteers, including Liti who helped us search. She had just released, into the vernal pool, the very one who’s photo was tweeted. “Let’s find you a salamander,” she proclaimed. So we combed the road, and got to see a Spring Peeper! The tiny little frog is responsible for all the racket you hear just as spring approaches.

Spring Peeper

A trip to the vernal pool was a treat for the ears! We were treated to the almost deafening sounds of Spring Peepers and Chorus Frogs singing their songs (and I am sure there were Bullfrogs and Wood Frogs too.)  Click here to listen

Vernal Pool

Heading back up the road in search of our main target, we lucked out! Liti found us a beautiful female Spotted Salamander.

Spotted Salamander

Much bigger than I expected, she was beautiful – dark skin with bright yellow spots and this one was feisty! We enjoyed her beauty for a few minutes, snapped some photos and helped her on her way to make more of these beauties!

Spotted Salamander Crossing

Such a treat to see!

Thank you Liti and Friends for getting the word out so quickly, and for helping us see this beautiful creature!

For more information, visit the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission Blog or Facebook page

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