On March 16 I received a phone call from my friend Patrick Zephyr who is an accomplished nature photographer: http://www.patrickzephyrphoto.com/
Patrick asked if I could take him to a site where he could find blue spotted salamanders so he could add a portrait to his wildlife portfolio. Blue spotted salamanders, Ambystoma laterale, are a 'Species of Special Concern' in Massachusetts and can be very difficult to encounter in the wild if you don't know where to look.
The following evening we went for a drive to a secret location in Lynnfield, hiked into the forest, and searched a few vernal pools until we found a pool that had exactly what we were looking for! That night we observed six blue spotted salamanders and had a great time photographing a few of them. These pictures were taken with my new camera phone (Samsung Galaxy S6), I was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly good the camera feature is in this model phone.
That night we also encountered wood frogs, green frogs, red spotted newts, and countless aquatic invertebrate species.
Patrick Zephyr surveying a vernal pool
|Blue spotted salamander|
|Blue spotted salamander (uncropped photo)|
|Ambystoma laterale posing on leaf litter.|
|Patrick Zephyr with blue spotted salamander portrait|
|that's me with a blue spotted salamander|