Last Friday, April 3, was Salamander Big Night. It hasn't rained properly the last three years in early April, but the first spring I was here it rained all day and into the evening on April 8 (There is a blog entry with decent pictures but skip the prose).
Sarah, who is having crazy times at work, in a good way, called in a state of high excitement and pointed out that it was well over 40, had been raining all day, and would into the night, so she was coming for Big Night. This year I did not have debilitating cramps and it wasn't raining as hard as 2005, more of a light mist. We walked up and down my rutted dirt road for two and a half hours and saw (unsquashed) 27 peepers,
a greenfrog, four spotted salamanders,
and a red-backed salamander. (Squashed: three peepers, three woodfrogs, a couple of greenfrogs and one spotted salamander. Cars. And the traffic was quite light.) We also saw innumerable rocks, twigs, and leaves masquerading as amphibians. One of the sticks turned out to be the red-backed salamander, a species who are entirely terrestrial and had no need to go gallivanting to the nearest vernal pool. I think this one wanted to know what all the excitement was.
I took a video of a pool full of woodfrogs a hundred yards down the road from my driveway; the picture isn't much, but I hope you like the sound.