|Posted by Friends EB EC on March 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM|
For anyone that has the pleasure to walk outside today in the brilliant sunshine and wonderful and long overdue warmth it is very evident that big changes are happening and fast. While we are going to face some colder temperatures Thursday, today is a harbinger of things to come. Eight days ago when I visited the vernal pools they were frozen solid and the ground was completely snow covered. Yesterday I checked the vernal pools and the snow was almost entirely gone. The larger vernal pool was 1/3 open water and the smaller vernal pool had a narrow open water fringe (see photos below). I turned over a bunch of logs but found nothing, not even a Red-backed salamander. Still, there were no frost crystals and the leaf duff was nice and moist and not frozen.
Despite the ridiculously cold and snowy winter we've had, the weather is shaping up to be very interesting for tomorrow. Today may have record-breaking temperatures and tomorrow is also going to be moderate during the day, although the temperature will be falling steadily from the afternoon into the evening. Tomorrow also looks pretty wet with mid-afternoon rain, possibly a good soaker, through early evening. NOAA has indicated that the rain may transition to sleet or snow but that won't likely happen until well after dark if there is still moisture left in the storm system.
So, what does this all mean regarding the potential for some salamander migration tomorrow? Well, this is the fun and the stress of trying to predict what nature will do! But, I would say that despite the really cold weather we've had, we should definitely keep an eye on tomorrow over the next few weather model forecast runs. We want to watch the timing of the rain and the temperature profiles toward dark. At this point I would say there is a better than even chance we should close the road even if it turns out only to be for safety sake (the salamanders of course).
NEVER (AND WE MEAN NEVER) WALK BEEKMAN ROAD AT NIGHT IF THE ROAD IS NOT CLOSED!!!
If the road is closed and you come out at night, please be aware that Church Lane is very dark and cars move at fast speeds. Use extreme caution when parking or crossing the road and especially be watchful of your children. NEVER WALK BEEKMAN ROAD AT NIGHT IF THE ROAD IS NOT CLOSED - IT IS NOT SAFE!!!
If you come to the road, EVERYONE MUST have their own flashlight. It will help see things in the dark, make the night much more fun and prevent accidentally stepping on a salamander or spring peeper.
Categories: Salamander migration