FOOTNOTE: Springhouses are usually simple structures, typically made of rock, that were built over springs. Their main purpose was to protect the emergent spring water from debris or contaminants, and exclude animals. As the cool water also keeps the interior of the springhouse at a consistently low temperature, at least when compared to outside air during warm periods, they also served as a mild form of refrigeration for perishables.
I recently received an irresistible invite from herpetologist Jeff Davis, one of the authors of the new Amphibians of Ohio book. Would I like to join him on a visit to see a population of one of the rarer of Ohio's 25 salamander species? Of course! So last Sunday, I met Jeff and off we went to document Cave Salamanders, Eurycea lucifuga.
Cave Salamanders are at the extreme northeastern limits of their range in Ohio, and nearly all of the relatively few populations in the state are in Hamilton County. There are also a few in neighboring Butler County, and one in Adams County.
I appreciate Jeff taking me along on this expedition, and letting me help with the work. And great gratitude goes to the owners of the property, who are proud of their rare salamanders and want them protected. I wish everyone had their attitude - the world would be a far better place.