Salamander Blog & Updates

Salamander Migration 2016, Update #2

Last night we closed the road for the first time. We didn't advertise it because we suspected it was too early. We were erring on the side of extreme caution because of the incredibly mild temperatures and heavy rain. As it turned out, our suspicions were confirmed and we were the only living thing walking across Beekman Road. It is wonderfully humbling that after 13 years of road closings and protecting the migrating frogs and spotted salamanders that we still have so much to learn about the migration. As it turned out, it seems like the exceptionally frigid cold over the weekend really froze the ground and even the quick rise into the 50's and heavy rain wasn't enough to defrost it. So the salamanders and frogs that are hibernating underground or in other sheltered spots beneath logs and in rotting tree stumps just didn't have the environmental cues they needed to awaken and migrate to the vernal pools. But it won't be long now. We are carefully watching the weather and continuously assessing the field conditions and will see everyone soon. Hopefully on a wonderful, raw, wet night filled with spotted salamanders and choruses of Spring peepers, Chorus frogs and Wood frogs that let us know we've made it through winter!

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Salamander Migration 2016, Update #1

As everyone knows this winter has been one of extremes, ranging from exceptionally warm temperatures and butterflies still flying in December to one of the largest snow storms we've had last week to the incredible warmth of the last few days. These are the kind of conditions that drive us crazy trying to figure out the timing of the frog and salamander migration to the vernal pools along Beekman Road. We've already made arrangements with the Police and by next week we will be ready to close the road if needed. It looks to be a cold week and there may even be another snow storm but the migration will happen soon.

 

The Friends have already begun monitoring the vernal pools and Beekman Road. Last night with the incredibly warm temperature and steady rain we took our first look. The pools were still ice covered and there was spotty snow in the woods but remarkably, there about 1/2 dozen spring peepers popping around. This is by far the earliest we've ever seen amphibians on Beekman Road by about 2 weeks at least. Whether this means an early migration remains to be seen but given the winter so far, we are expecting that. Stay tuned and we will continue to update what we see and what we think may happen. It can't be too long until that magical, raw, rainy night when our beloved spotted salamanders make their annual journey to the vernal pools along with the frogs.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS ABOUT SAFETY

Be carful when you park - there is a big ditch next to the parking area at the back to Tamarack - car have been stuck there a few times recently.

Please be aware that Church Lane is very dark and cars move at fast speeds. Use extreme caution when parking or crossing the road and especially be watchful of your children. NEVER WALK BEEKMAN ROAD AT NIGHT IF THE ROAD IS NOT CLOSED - IT IS NOT SAFE!!!

If you come to the road, EVERYONE (Children included) MUST have their OWN flashlight. It will help see things in the dark, make the night much more fun and prevent accidentally stepping on a salamander or spring peeper.

NEVER (AND WE MEAN NEVER) WALK BEEKMAN ROAD AT NIGHT IF THE ROAD IS NOT CLOSED!!!

 

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