Another Blast of Winter Cold
After several weeks of mild to quite warm weather, we woke up this morning to another cold blast of winter winds. Outside temperature of 19 degrees at 10 in the morning. Burrrrr! So while I sit inside in the warmth of my home, my mind is ever drawn to the question of “what’s going on outside”?
March is the time when our local salamanders usually emerge from hibernation and make their way to the breeding ponds. On most springs, we’d find some on a night of a warm(er) spring rain. We’ve even found bullfrogs moving around during spring rains of past March nights. I might have missed my chance this spring when an early morning shower crept in and caught me asleep. It might have been the trigger.
But if the salamanders and some of the frogs made it to their breeding ponds, what are they doing now when the ponds have frozen solid again? Though frogs hibernate at the bottoms of the ponds, salamanders hibernate in burrows. Do they anticipate the cold weather and make it back to a safe, dry burrow to sleep through the cold? Does the cold weather allow them to spend a few days and nights trapped beneath the ice?
As a curious naturalist, I have many more questions than answers. But it’s the questions we are constantly asking that make the exploration of the outdoors that much more intriguing.