Many of Ohio’s naturalists were working the “night shift” this weekend. Torrential rains and warming days were just what we needed to bring on the yearly parade of amphibians.
Each year, often between Mardi Gras and St. Patty’s day, the first waves of salamanders unearth themselves for the annual march, which takes on a quality of the night of the living dead. Warm rains arouse the sleeping “sallys” and they will crawl forth, to find their vernal pool, ancestral breeding ponds. Unfortunately, man made obstacles such as roads, sub-divisions, and notoriously- Wal-Marts, have been placed in their path, attributing to declining success of breeding, and progeny to follow.
I hope you have a few friends strange enough to meet you in a dark woods to stand around in ankle deep water, being drenched by the rain- for the thrill of a lifetime! Take a good lantern, and enjoy the chorus frog’s serenade. The Spring peepers will be joining in soon, and the deafening song of the night-time spring chorus will be here again.
Species seen in Crawford County 3/8/09:
Wood Frog, Western Chorus Frog, Redback Salamander, Smallmouth Salamander, and the body of a deceased Eastern Tiger Salamander.