Wednesday, April 8, 2015

You're only as good as your last Wood Frog. 4-7-2015

The Salamander Migration in 2015 will not produce a "Big Night" in Massachusetts. At least I don't think so. Some Spotted Salamanders (our species of note) have already moved, some have yet to move. On Tuesday, April 7th, conditions seemed right according to the forecast for the evening. Over 40° and rainy. The "salamander crossing" that we had volunteered for was going to be underway so we hurried home from work and made it out to Southborough, MA by 7 PM.

It was raw and cold... barely 40° at all but about a dozen of us (mostly from the area but one guy came from Cambridge and we came from Roslindale) hit the road that was described as a "death zone" and started scouring the asphalt and the edges. It wasn't as wet as expected, sadly. Peepers could be heard in the distance. We all decided to walk the road a bit and let it get darker. Our first find was a cool Wood Frog.

But not much was moving. The Peepers got louder. I took a walk into one of the pools as I could have sworn I heard a Grey Tree Frog mixed in but the sound stopped when I was in there. Meanwhile Andrea found a Spring Peeper, the first of the year for us!
Andrea first peeper
I was outraged!!! How could she see a herp without me??? I would never do that to her!! (See last post)

But she took me to a Peeper-y spot and I saw one of the little buggers for myself!

There was a few squashed Peepers and Woodies, sadly. We had many sets of eyes on this stretch of road but we couldn't save them all. There were two Spotted Salamander stains as well... one looked old but one was fresh and it saddened us all. People started to leave. There was just 5 of us left and then, after a bit... Andrea and I were the last two standing. We figured we'd keep walking the area for a while in case anything needed our help. There wasn't much; no Spotted Salamanders at all, but we helped a few Wood Frogs and Peepers safely across the road to hop another day. This is what some of them looked like:
^Joey Ramone

So yeah, not even "Little Night" on this cold Tuesday (it was about 38° when we finally left) but we felt good that we'd seen a few frogs, which is always a treat, and maybe helped them out. As a bonus, I made it through work today (the next day) without falling asleep! Yay me!