Thursday, March 06, 2008

Amphibian Monitoring Project

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A beautiful morning at Vermont Flowerless Farm. Today is kind of "the" day of the week with more bad weather moving in Friday night and on into Saturday. In the meantime, the sun rising above frozen Peacham Pond suggests the makings of a beautiful day.

I collect piles of notes of things I want to work into this blog or The Vermont Gardener
and some make it and some do not. It's one of those "how much time in a day" things. One would think that winter would be a calm time for us but once the taxes are finished, it's on to the website, checking and double checking orders that are coming in, and readying for orders going out. It's nice to say that the orders destined to go out are already coming in and that's encouraging at a time when the stock market drops in numbers like 2 or 3% all too often.

One of the things I have had in the pile for almost a month is an announcement from Larry Clarfeld of the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier. Gail and Alex and I met Larry last year at the Jaquith Library here in Marshfield. He was offering a presentation on amphibian monitoring and it was one of the best nature presentations we have heard. We took what we learned and as soon as the snow was gone we headed out at night in search of eastern spotted salamanders and a variety of toads and frogs and other salamanders. I have to admit that I didn't follow through as much as I should have but my observation skills added a new crossing site to Larry's list.

If you have a minute, check out the Amphibian Monitoring Project. As info, Larry will be providing the same great presentation at these sites. Amphibians play a big part in gardeners lives but because they often work in invisible darkness, they don't get credit for what they do.

We guarantee you'll enjoy Larry and his work!

Wed. March 19, 6:30pm Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston

Thurs. March 20, 7:00pm Fairbanks Museum, St. Johnsbury

Tues. March 25, 6:30pm Maple Corner, Calais

Wed. March 26, 6:30pm Goddard College, Flanders Building, Plainfield

Thurs. March 27, 6:30pm University of Vermont, 119 Aiken Building, Burlington

Tues. April 1, 6:30pm Lawrence Memorial Library, Bristol

Wed. April 2, 6:30pm Richmond Free Library, Richmond

Thurs. April 3, 6:30pm North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier

Sat. April 19, 11:00am & 1:00pm ECHO Center, Burlington

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a Pileated Woodpecker is already blasting away on our neighbor's dying sugar maples, somewhat out of cadence with the Downey Woodpecker sitting outside my window and pecking deliberate pecks of suet through half inch hardware cloth. I don't think woodpecker's miss, do you?

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm


GardenJoy4Me said...

Pictures are great .. yes even a woman can appreciate amphibians ! I loved finding them as a kid .. my first love are frogs though so I will try to be more accepting of all amphibians ! LOL

Ki said...

I wish we had a salamander migration but unfortunately we don't. I did find a tiny newt in a stream once but that's the hapless extent of my Salamandridae family sightings.

George Africa said...

Hello Joy; I checked out your blog and think you might be interested in reading H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen. My 16 year old son Alex started with Lovelace six-eight months ago and is enthralled by the style. Although these guys were read by Steven King who admired their talents, the horror associated with King does not prevail.

One perhaps wonders the link between good gardening and reading light horror or studying UFOs. Gardeners need to stimulate creativity and challenge it. Reading does this for us!

Good gardening,

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

George Africa said...

Hello Ki;

You have both the eastern spotted and the blue spotted salamander in New Jersey for sure but it's not likely you'll see them unless you go out at night. During or just after spring rains but 9:30-on at night.

I found a road last year that needed a driver for the truck because I had to scoot the critters out of the road to pass through. Coincidental to the amphibians which where terrific, I found myself in the middle of an irruption of wood cock (migratory birds) mad because I was walking the road they used to gather a late night supper of worms from. I'll never forget the first night I did one of these night time monitoring projects.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm