Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware County, Ohio stands ready to receive its annual deposit of salamanders. But the salamanders have been slow to come. I was at this pool last night, hoping to see a barrage of amphibians trucking through the woods and into the pool's placid waters, but the invasion never materialized. As was the case the only other time I've been out salamandering this spring, the evening started off looking good: decently warm, and plenty wet. But come nightfall, temperatures rapidly plummeted and before long had dipped to the low 40's. That's a bit chilly even for hardy hypothermia-defying salamanders.
I carefully slogged around the pool's margins, and saw no spermatophores (the male salamander's sperm packets), or egg masses. There were probably were some, but nothing like there should be had the salamanders arrived in full force. I think they'll get to the vernal pools eventually, but this spring's crazy cool weather with barely a warm rainy night has delayed the migration of the salamanders. If you are not acquainted with the spring migration of mole salamanders, which is one of Nature's fantastic spectacles, CLICK HERE.