Crow’s Nest: Big Night 2021

March 18, 2021

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

After an unusually dry month—only one major rain since winter’s long snow cover—we’ve finally had some rain which makes amphibian migration possible. In our household that means time to get out the flashlight and take a walk down the road.

In the quarter mile of Piersol Road at the base of Monocacy Hill near the visitor center, in less than an hour of walking, we came across dozens of migrating yellow spotted salamanders and about a dozen wood frogs. Four salamanders had been crushed by passing cars, so we kept an eye out and moved a few when we saw a car coming (we also avoid traveling by car on these nights if we can).

Photo: Daniel Barringer

We feel privileged to witness this spectacle of migration from the woods where these creatures live to the wetlands where they breed.