Amphibian Anticlimax?

The weather was a bust.  We’d been keeping an eye on the forecast because stormy weather was on the way, but we thought we might have clear sailing for our Night of the Amphibians tonight, if only just.  About 20 minutes before the program was due to start, though, the rain began.  Coupled with the strong winds we’d had all day, and the falling temps, the odds of finding any frogs singing in the ponds was pretty slim.

Still, we had a few intrepid folks come out…just in case.  So Carrie did a short amphibian program in the exhibit room, introducing everyone to amphibians in general, and our three resident critters.

First up we had the green frog.  He’s been in our care for quite a while and has grown to a robust size.  Everyone got to see him up close and in person.

Next we had the little grey tree frog that came to our center this winter.  He’s been living in my office, happily feeding on crickets.  Carrie took him out of his little container and he became a temporary ornament on several participants.

I think everyone’s favorite, though, was our spotted salamander.  This is a very substantial salamander, and one that few people get to see because it lives a fossorial life most of the time (underground).  On rainy nights in the spring, though, spotted salamanders join the other legions of amphibians in migrations to seek out breeding pools.

It pays to keep your eyes open when driving the roads at night in the spring.  If you see frogs, toads or salamanders trying to cross the roads, please consider stopping and helping them make their journeys safely.  Hundreds of these animals are squashed each spring by drivers who aren’t aware of these migrations.  In many parts of the country, groups of people actually form rescue teams that head out on rainy nights to aid in amphibian crossings.  They have been known to stop traffic along routes where heavy migrations are known to occur.

So, do your part of amphibian survival, and keep your eyes peeled at night.

And if you are kind of wishing you had joined us tonight, you still can!  Tomorrow’s amphibian program has been rescheduled for Saturday, 7 May at 7:00 PM.  Mark your calendar and come on out to join us!


About Dahlem Center

The Dahlem Center is a non-profit nature center/environmental education center located on almost 300 acres just south of the city of Jackson, Michigan. The Center is one arm of the Dahlem Conservancy, which includes land conservancy and stewardship in its mission.
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One Response to Amphibian Anticlimax?

  1. Pegg Clevenger says:

    Your photos are superb and your writing makes me feel like I was there. Great info about a Jackson resource and the interesting programs of the Dahlem Center.

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