Saturday, April 11, 2015
An amazing thing happens on the first warm, rainy night of spring: it's called Big Night, and it's the time when frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians creep out from under the rocks and leaves they've been sheltering in for the winter, or from the dirt they've dug themselves into, and make their way to vernal pools.
Why am I telling you this? Well, you might want to venture out to see it, especially if you have kids: it's pretty magical. But even if you don't fancy an adventure in the 40-degree rain, it's good to know to be careful driving.
It's hard being an amphibian these days. Choosing vernal pools keeps eggs safe from fish that might eat them (vernal pools are temporary, hence the name, so fish can't make their homes there) nad night travel helps avoid predation on the adults as they travel. But evolution couldn't have accounted for vehicular traffic, and many routes to safety take the amphibians across roads and highways.
To learn more about Big Night in Maine, or to be a part of an organization helping to protect these creatures in their vulnerable crossing, check out the Maine Lakes Association.