Salamander Blog & Updates

2017 Salamander Migration Update No. 2

We are extremely happy to announce that Middlesex County, with some help from the Friends EBEC, has just completed the purchase of the 70-acre property on the south side of Beekman Lane where many of our spotted salamanders and frogs overwinter! Protecting this land has been a goal of the Friends for more than a decade and our dream has finally come true thanks to the incredible efforts of the County! This huge property is bounded by Church Lane, Ireland's Brook, Beekman Lane and the Turnpike (map) and will become part of the Ireland's Brook Park. Stay tuned for much more exciting news about this property! A huge thanks is due to to Rick Lear and Eric Gehring of Middlesex County Parks and Recreation and the Middlesex County Freeholders for protecting this property and our salamanders and frogs.

As far as the salamander migration, we are monitoring tomorrow's weather closely and if everything falls into place, are thinking it may be the start. The weather this week has been nothing short of glorious and there is rain and possible thunderstorms forecast for late tomorrow afternoon into the evening. We've also monitored soil temperatures this week and they are well above the thresholds needed for migration. So, if the weather forecast holds together we are expecting to close the road tomorrow night. We will post another update tomorrow as we get a little closer.

 

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2017 Salamander Migration Update No. 1

What a difference a week or two makes! The snow in these photos from the last snowstorm has melted and the first signs of spring are showing up - Little things like winter fireflies, a lone singing Spring Peeper, snowdrops in a sunny sheltered spot, a Red Winged blackbird in full regalia, skunk cabbage poking out in a wetland and the first Mourning Cloak butterfly at Frost Woods this past weekend. So how far off can the start of the Spotted Salamander migration to our vernal pools be? We suspect, not long! We have been carefully monitoring conditions at the vernal pools and the weather and think this weekend may be the first time we will close the road. The forecast for the rest of this week is for temperatures well above normal (maybe even record-breaking) with the potential for rain and thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon and evening with the passage of a cold front. The Police have the barriers out at Beekman Road and are just waiting for us to give them the signal that conditions look good for the migration. Saturday is still a long way off, weatherwise, and we are keeping a close eye on the forecast and will provide updates as we get closer.

A few VERY important safety notes are in order (for us and the salamanders and frogs): NEVER, and we cannot stress this enough, NEVER, walk Beekman Road when it is not closed. It is NOT safe! Park carefully and always have your children hold your hand when crossing Church Lane. Cars come fast, it will be dark and possibly rainy, and we don't want anyone hurt. When parking, choose a safe location and be exceptionally careful when pulling out onto Church Lane. For the salamanders, be sure that EVERYONE has a strong, bright flashlight so that the salamanders and frogs are not accidentally stepped on. Check your flashlight before leaving the house and honestly, don't come out without EVERYONE having one in their hand. Cell phone flashlights are just not strong enough to illuminate the road at night. Also, please don not handle the frogs and salamanders. Simply watch them cross and enjoy their movements. Amphibians breathe through their skin and touching them can be harmful to them.  Be safe and enjoy the migration!                

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Salamander migration 2016, update #14 - Beekman Road may be closed today, April 1, 2016

Update, 4PM

Since posting earlier today the forecast has changed and the chance of precipitation is now only 20%.  We are watching the changing forecast and will make a decision later. Please follow updates on the Facebook page, and on this blog.

NEVER WALK BEEKMAN ROAD AT NIGHT IF THE ROAD IS NOT CLOSED - IT IS NOT SAFE!!!

 

The forecast for today, April 1, 2016:

This Afternoon
Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 5pm. High near 77. Southwest wind around 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Tonight
Scattered showers and thunderstorms before 9pm, then a slight chance of showers after 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. West wind 8 to 13 mph becoming light after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
 
Good conditions for salamanders to migrate to the vernal pools so we asked the police to close the road this evening for safe crossing of amphibians.

Beekman road will be closed at 7pm today.

Salamander migration 2016, update #11 - Beekman Road will be closed today

Mark Twain may (or may have not) said: "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it". All that we can do about the weather it is check weather.gov and try to think like a salamander. Yesterday we made a last minute decision to close the road, although the forecast was for the rain to start in the late hours of the night. The rain, as you probably know, started around 7pm... Friends' members  who read update #10 reported seeing a few spotted salamanders and a Red spotted newt migrating to pools!

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