Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Amphibian Migrations

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just back from checking the nursery after last night's storm. Heavy rains pounded us and at about 3 AM there was lights and noise from a giant t-storm that sent Karl the Wonder Dog into serious dog frenzy. The Winooski River is up four feet since last night and the small brooks are all over their banks and into farm fields. I knew it was wet this morning when I opened the back door and there was a woods frog sitting on the top step and the ground was covered with night crawlers and worms.

We have been waiting for spring rains to arrive and melt the snow that remains +6 feet deep on Mt Mansfield and 3-4 feet deep here in Marshfield. This has been an unusual spring and the temperatures have been colder than in previous years. The sight of the frog this morning reminded me of the year 2007 when Gail and I attended a program at the community center on amphibian monitoring for salamanders and frogs. I wrote about it on the Vermont Gardens blog that I used to write parallel to The Vermont Gardener. Take a look at what I wrote back then as we first learned about spotted salamanders like the one pictured above. Maybe tonight we can get out on a couple back roads and get a sense of how healthy the amphibian population is this year. Check out the North Branch Nature Center and view the pictures under the Nature News section. The "Big Night" in Central Vermont was Monday night for the lower elevations around Montpelier but I'll put my money on tonight in this part of Vermont as snow pack is still heavy in the woods and some amphibians are probably in that suspended state that only a woods frog with a personal supply of frog anti-freeze experiences. Very interesting animals!

Gotta scoot! Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where Karl the Wonder Dog wants to go for yet another walk. He loves the smells and sounds of spring!

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