Salamander study



Salamander Crossing

Salamander crossing the road

Yellow spotted salamander crossing the road.

Yellow Spotted Salamanders

Yellow spotted Salamanders spawning in a vernal pool in Westfield, MA. They come here at night during the first spring rains then we don’t see them again till next spring.


The herring was running out on Cape Cod at the Stony Brook Grist Mill


It was a beautiful day- he we are above the stream. We saw 2 volunteers counting herring coming into this pond and measuring the water temperature.

The Stream was lined with seagulls waiting for an easy snack.


The salamanders were out tonight. Very exciting! Here is a yellow spotted salamander crossing Honey Pot Road.

Here is a Jefferson – I believe he has a hurt leg, poor little guy,

The vernal pool was pretty active and I saw lots of eggs.

They come to the surface to breath every so often. They swarm in clumps.

I believe these are the eggs, although these could be frogs I am not 100%

Here is a red fire newt, they are so beautiful:

The pool was a cacophony with these guys:

March of the Newts.

First rain of spring the newts (salamanders) cross Honey Pot Road to breed in the vernal pools. This is a very exciting event and it is a brief and wonderful occurrence.

With todays rain I am on watch to see if it is going to happen. There is a bit of snow left so I am not sure if it will happen tonight. There are generally 3 types of salamanders that travel down Drake mountain. The first time we found a fire newt I told the kids it was a baby dragon – I mean come on Drake mountain…

These are unmistakable and the most common. Beautiful red-orange. The yellow spotted Salamaders are breath taking – shown here is a rare albino yellow spotted salamader we found in 2009:

The most rare are the Jeffersons a greyish salamader:

Then there a couple million peepers doin’ their thing:

Now if you do come out – please walk down the road if possible. Drive slow and keep a lookout. The hot spot is here:

For more info on the salamanders: http://www.massaudubon.org/printwildlife.php?id=58

I want to look into making a salamander bridge and creating awareness of these wonderful creatures here in Westfield.


Maple Syrup

We just got back from Mike’s and he was making homemade maple syrup.

He tapped only a few of his maples. He was amazed how much sap came out of his trees.

It takes 40 gallons of sap makes 1 gallon of syrup. It was a blast to make and man was it delicious!