Friday, March 6, 2009

On a warm, spring night

On a warm, spring night, I stand,
under darkness brought by the clouds, heavy with rain,
feet touching cool water, clear and still,
to hear the hundreds of small voices,
propped just above the water’s surface.

Spring Peeper, Pseudacris crucifer


Clinging to small stems,
toes strongly wrapping,
or broadly floating ahead of each step,
with eyes that glow like jewels from across the pool,
they welcome me with song
into their midnight madness.

Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens

Wood Frog, Rana sylvatica


In all these others,
there is but one that is silent,
watching me,
with the gentle face
and sweet, small velvet feet
that I adore.


They have come home.


Spotted Salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, male
Little Pond Pool, Butlerville Ohio
March 5, 2009



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38 comments:

possumlady said...

Hurray they're back!!!

Just like the swallows from Capistrano---

The Spotted Salamanders from Little Pond Pool...

bobbie said...

I love the spring peepers. They are the sure sign of spring.

giggles said...

Wow. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!

giggles said...

And so..okay... I'm just gonna say WOW one more time.... I bow (a la "I'm not worthy" from Wayne's world style) at the fact you not only monitor the vernal pools, and you watch, wait, and see what you are looking for, but that you also take such awesome photos.... There have been times when I have heard the peepers, but have never seen them...knowing that they were all around me.... Totally awesome, girlfriend...totally. (One of my kids classes is gonna dissect an owl pellet next week. I've never done this, have never even seen one IRL, so I eagerly volunteered.... One of the other parents, in jest, has called me "sick." Nope, just a warped sense of cool....)

Lilli & Nevada said...

Sure is cute in there own way.

Susan Gets Native said...

Hooray!
God, the whole life cycle of these guys is just fascinating.
I'm so glad you get out there to study them...and share them with us!

Barb said...

I've been waiting for this because - well, you promised... I've never seen the spotted salamander before. I must admit, I feel elated!

Deborah Godin said...

Oh my - this really lifted my heart!! Spring peepers and an sally, two of my favorite friends!! And there's hope for spring here, then, it's moving north!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Peepers and pond creepers—can spring be in the least in doubt!

I saw my first turkey vulture today. But haven not yet heard a peeper—of course I'm a few miles north of you. But I'd put mony on the next couple of days.

Nice post!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Good eye and good shot. I would think its still early, but maybe not. Everything below 50 F is cold for me, a Floridan. That's downright "spring warm" in other parts.

Nature Nut said...

Wondeful pictures! I'll be installing a small pond this spring and I am so excited to finally have the potential to attract frogs. I've got plenty of toads...

NCmountainwoman said...

How wonderful that your welcome guests have returned. Isn't it a bit early? I seem to recall your gathering salamander eggs in late March. Perhaps that was a different salamander. At any rate, I am ready for the vernal pool watch.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The peepers and chorus frogs are singing up a storm around here too. I have yet to see a Salamander. Good for you Nina. How exciting.

Old Wom Tigley said...

I learned more about the Salamanders from your post last spring than at any other time... I will be calling back soon to keep up with these... the other image I will always keep with me from you blog was the tiny tiny Humming Bird nest that was covered in Lichen... one of my all time favourite blog postings.

Have a great watchful weekend
Tom

Kelly said...

...your writing always evokes such peace. Very interesting science and beautiful prose. Have you written a book...or are there plans? For me, today's post was especially sweet.

Jeannette St.G. said...

I actually like the sound of frogs, it gives visions of warm summer night. And the spotted salamander is so cute! Thanks for sharing.

Jeannette St.G. said...

I actually like the sound of frogs, it gives visions of warm summer night. And the spotted salamander is so cute! Thanks for sharing.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Go Kelly, go Kelly...

Big smiles here, where the kids and I just found a pile of crocuses, two tiny daffodils, and are waiting for the first peeper. The woodcock was going last night, and started at 5:58 this morning. Ahhh!

So happy to see your salamanders are trooping back.

Snap said...

Wow. How wonderful! Does this mean Spring is really on the way??!!!

scienceguy288 said...

We still haven't hit the migration where I live, but we are very close.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

We haven’t had our “big night,” either.
Because different species move into the pools at different times of the spring thaw, there are typically different nights for mass migrations. I’m waiting for the march of the Spotteds—these spotted salamanders appearing in the water are males that have arrived early, ahead of the females. I’m expecting the females may march very soon—in a day or 2. On another warm, wet, clouded night.
You know where I’ll be.

The book…brewing.

mon@rch said...

I can't wait for ours to come out . . . about to post in the next day or two the Turtle I found walking around on the ice! Isn't this an amazing time of the year?

ChrisC and JonJ said...

What a neat post! and great photos too.Here,in florida,it seems all we have are anoles,geckos,and skinks.

i beati said...

Quite the characters!!sandy

Crafty Gardener said...

I can't wait to hear the spring peepers. Very interesting reading today.

Michele said...

I am looking forward to the snow melt and the frogs to return to the Rocky mountains.... this is a beautiful post!

Mountain Retreat

Tammy said...

I can't wait till Spring comes here and we have frogs in our pond again.

Tink *~*~* said...

Oh Yay, finally! I'm so happy, I know you have been looking and looking. w00t! :D

Tink *~*~*
NOW PLAYING at My Mobile Adventures *~*~* :
Frog metamorphosis at Disney

Babooshka said...

Welcome sign of spring.

deejbrown said...

"Small velvet feet that I adore...." beautiful!
Thank you for being the eyes we should have.

Gretchen said...

Those are great shots! Can't wait til I can get out and take some nice ones. :)

floreta said...

the salamander pictures are my favorite!

Gayle said...

I don't believe we have salamanders (or at least I've never seen one) here. Thanks for the treat.
See a Moose Here!

Carolina said...

Spring must be in the air then? Lovely little critters ;-)

Mama Zen said...

This is just a gorgeous post!

Kathiesbirds said...

Every time I see one of these spotted salamader's you remind me of finding them in my dirt basement in CT when I was a child! So cute! So glad you captured them in megapixels, for they have certainly captured your heart (and mine)!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

I'm so happy that you finally found the salamander. All that waiting and watching paid off. I always look forward to hearing the spring peepers each spring.

fredsmilek said...

The green frogs with red eyes are cute.

Fred Smilek is the acting president of the Society to Save Endangered Species. It was founded two years ago by Fred Smilek along with his two best friends Charles and Jonathan. http://www.fredjsmilek.com