Frogs and Salamanders

Thinking about the Hudson River reminds me of an e-newsletter I get that is really fantastic if you’re interested in the flora and fauna of the river.  It’s a compendium of peoples’ seasonal observations compiled by a naturalist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. There’s always something great there, whether the item concerns shad or eagles or butterflies. Here is a bit from the current newsletter:

“4/21 – Lake Hill, HRM 100: I was working in my basement near midnight with a steady, heavy-at-times rain falling outside. I noticed a tree frog in the basement and put it outside through the “cat” door. A few minutes later, I noticed another frog and placed it outside. Then I began to notice several red-backed salamanders of various sizes that I also put outside. Another two frogs soon joined them, one a tree frog and the other a pickerel frog. Just when I was beginning to wonder if maybe the light in the basement was attracting the amphibians, the “mother” of all salamanders walked slowly toward me. The seven-inch-long spotted salamander was huge compared to the red-backs. I carefully picked it up and, surprisingly, it put up less of a struggle than the red-backed salamanders. I placed it outside and shut the cat door. Though I thoroughly checked the basement in the morning, no amphibians were in sight. There were no aftermaths from my night experiencing a minor version of one of the “10 Plagues” from the book of Exodus.  – Reba Wynn Laks”

Okay, this is terrifying, especially because we just found a snake in our kitchen, but I’m glad to know about it.

To subscribe to the Hudson River Almanac, send an email message to hrep@gw.dec.state.ny.us and write E-Almanac in the subject line.

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Filed under Jean Zimmerman, Nature

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