The weather is looking as good for salamanders as its going to get for another few weeks, so I will host a salamander walk tonight. See here for info on where/when we’ll meet and how to prepare. It’ll be pretty chilly.
Winter isn’t giving up without a fight this year. A few salamanders moved into Windhover Pond during some warm nights a few weeks back, but otherwise the cold has kept things quiet. As I type, the weather looks like it might get salamandery Tuesday the 27th thru Thursday the 29th this week, then get cold again. Look out for a walk announcement during those times, especially if it rains a bunch.
Forty salamanders came to Windhover Pond last night. They started during our walk once it began to rain a bit. I’m going to release them before dark so they can do their thing once the sun sets.
There hasn’t been much rain yet today, which means few positive signs for salamander movement at this point. I will host a walk anyway to see what we can see, and then possibly another walk tomorrow if I have any salamanders to release. See this page for info on time, location, and how to prepare.
2017 continues to be an unusual year in Steiner Woods. After an early and heavy wave of salamander migration, the salamanders stopped coming in and then things froze over for a few weeks. It will be interesting to see whether the break in weather brings out more salamanders. I will host a salamander walk tomorrow (Sunday March 26) if it rains as forecast so you can come find out for yourself. I will confirm or cancel with another post tomorrow afternoon.
Meanwhile, this is the first night I have heard heavy spring peeper and wood frog choruses in Bath. Before the cold returned, wood frog breeding had come and gone at several ponds just miles away in the Cuyahoga Valley. Wood frogs are described as “explosive” breeders, because large numbers aggregate to breed over a short time, usually just a few days. This year’s weather has created an interesting scenario where frogs across small distances are facing very different climates and time constraints during development. Since wood frogs usually breed in ponds that dry out during the summer, that month’s difference could be very important for how much they are able to grow and develop before things dry out. On the other hand, it is very likely that those early laid eggs faced significant mortality and stress from the sustained freezing temperatures.
I will do a walk tonight. We will release last night’s catch and see if we can see others on their way in.
You can find what/when/where details here.
The 2017 salamander season is already well underway in Steiner Woods. This has been the earliest start to the season since the drift fence study began in 1999 (the latest start to the season was just in 2015). So far we’ve had over 300 salamanders arrive at the pond. This is the most activity there has been since 2008. I am currently busy making evening visits to several ponds in the area for other projects, but look out for a walk announcement soon.