The weather has been conspiring against the migration but it can't be too long now (hopefully). The cold dry conditions are not what salamanders and frogs like. In the simplest terms, the primary triggers for their migration to the vernal pools to breed are rainy days followed by at least early evening rain and temperatures in the mid-40's or higher. But many other factors likely play a part including soil temperatures, air temperatures on proceeding days, humidity, and open water at the pools. They've spent the entire winter protected underground or under a log just waiting for their biological sensors to tell them the time is right to rise to the surface and move to the pools. A trip to the pools yesterday made us happy and hopeful we won't have to wait too much longer. The snow has finally melted for the most part and the ice on the pools is very thin. A narrow edge of open water has even opened up in spots. And the forecast indicates that change is on the horizon, at least with respect to the temperatures. The rain seems to be out of the forecast for this week and the next seven days look to be dry. But the upcoming week has quite a few days in the 60's and Thursday may even reach nearly 70. The lack of snow cover coupled with the warm temperatures will certainly warm up the soils where our salamanders and frogs are hibernating. Then it should just be a good soaking rain to trigger their movement! The long range forecast shows cooler temperatures (but not cold) for early next week with some rain. This might be just what is needed. Stay tuned...
A few VERY IMPORTANT rules!
Human Safety -
Beekman Road and Church Lane are always dark. Cars driving on them are moving fast and don't expect anyone there. It is simply DANGEROUS and extreme caution is the rule!
NEVER walk Beekman Road when it is not closed.
NEVER let children cross Church Lane without holding their hand.
Wear bright colored clothing so you are highly visible.
Parking is best at the small county lot on Beekman Road (accessed from White Pine on the South Brunswick side) just before the closure and on Crispin Lane off of Church.
Do NOT park in front of the barriers.
Use exceptional caution when parking as it is often dark and rainy and visibility of visitors and other cars maybe limited.
Amphibian Safety -
EVERYONE must have a flashlight. Phone flashlights are useless. Without a good strong bright flashlight there is a real risk of stepping on an amphibian, which completely defeats the point of our protection plan.
PLEASE DO NOT handle the amphibians. They are slippery and easy to drop and our hands can transfer oils that are harmful to them. They know where they are going, so just enjoy them as they cross and take lots of photographs!