EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Spring has sprung! After three false starts with road closings that left us alone on the road, last night was amazing!
If you've followed the Friends for a while, you know that we close Beekman Road each spring so that Spotted Salamanders, wood frogs, and a suite of other amphibians can safely cross to their vernal pools. (Vernal pools or "spring pools" are shallow depressions that usually contain water for only part of the year. They are often associated with forested wetlands.The vernal pools serve as essential breeding habitat for certain species of wildlife, including salamanders and frogs (amphibians). Juvenile and adult amphibians associated with vernal pools provide an important food source for small carnivores as well as large game species.)
This is our 16th year, and our amphibian populations are doing great now. When we started we had no wood frogs in our vernal pools, but last night there must have been a hundred safely crossing the road.
Our Spotted Salamanders were also being decimated by cars in the past, but now they can safely cross as slowly as they want.
Here are photos from last night of a very happy Spotted salamander with the road barriers in the back and a beautiful rich reddish brown wood frog. I took the Spotted Salamander photo laying down so that we could see eye-to-eye and have a nice little conversation about spring. I'm honestly not sure who was happier!
I expect that Beekman Road will be closed again tonight with the rainy forecast, so stay tuned.
Always read the important safety information before venturing out. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org