Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I can tell that it is spring

Blue spotted salamander egg
This is an egg of Ambystoma laterale at Black Pond Woods Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Even if I lost all sense of time, I would be able to tell the seasons. In the winter, photos of warm spots become popular, in the fall photos of changing leaves and pumpkins, and in the spring photos of amphibians and their eggs are searched for. This photo, rarely looked at, was a hot commodity today.

Mole salamanders (like tigers, spotteds, blue-spotteds, etc) tend to move to the ponds to breed when the ground begins to thaw. The migrate to ephemeral ponds that form in the spring from the melting snow and spring rains. They rarely seem to use ponds that don't, at least occasionally, dry up. Drying up keeps out fish.

These salamanders pick tend to pick the most miserable night of the year to move to the ponds. It is still cold, but just above freezing, with pouring raining. Still, watching them make their march, and then seeing them in the ponds doing their courtship dances is a sight to see and I forget the cold. For many years, watching the salamanders, listening for frogs was spring for me. From people using my photos and recordings, I see that it is still spring for many. I think I need to take an evening drive this weekend. It has to be rainy, though a little warm. I won't see the salamanders, but frogs like to travel in the rain, too.

One last thing... oddly, well maybe not, in the summer no one is looking for pictures of blizzards.

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Alumroot's Photo Blog by Alan Wolf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at flickr.com