Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lynnfield, MA March, 17, 2016

2016 saw it's 'Big Night' amphibian migration on March 10 with warm weather and heavy rains. The following week had more of the same weather that provided ideal amphibian migration weather. This amphibian migration event happened a few weeks earlier than what we typically see in New England.

On March 16 I received a phone call from my friend Patrick Zephyr who is an accomplished nature photographer:

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