Spring is in the air, as we all head outside for fresh air and the warm sun. We gather our hand tools and rakes for the tedious job of cleaning up the fall and winter mess. Just raking the garden leaves is a job within itself; they're wet and heavy and usually full of sticks and last years blooms.
I am also cleaning out our window wells, which apparently love to collect the leaves. While reaching down with my hands and grabbing a cluster of wet, soggy leaves I see a black squishy thing. I thought, that's a really ugly slug. I moved the remaining leaves and uncovered the coolest creature I've seen in a long time. A yellow spotted salamander. I gently picked him up and he just laid still. No movement at all. Was he asleep?
Well, I needed to clean out those wells, so I brought him into the woods and buried him under some damp leaves and hoped he'd make it in his new location.
In doing some research, the spotted salamander usually makes its home in the woods near some areas with water for breeding. But they don't live in ponds because fish and turtles will eat all the eggs and larva. Spotted salamanders spend most of their time underground. They rarely come above ground, except after a rain or for foraging and breeding. During the winter, they hibernate underground, and are not seen again until breeding season in early March–May.
Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy