Seasons Greetings: Crocus & Salamanders

What is going on in your garden right now? Things are getting interesting here in middle Massachusetts.  Big Night — the once a year event where salamanders return to their vernal pools to mate took place over the last couple nights.  As I have done before, but this year for the first time with my kids, I donned my rubber boots and trekked into the dark muddy night to catch a glimpse of the action.   Oh yes, we found salamanders.

big night spotted salamander photo

image by my friend Jen

Then yesterday morning…as I was putting the finishing touches on my color post for the Garden Designers Round Table I felt a little tickle on the back of my calf.  I reached down to scratch the tickle and came away with a small black snake like thing on the back of my hand.  Shrieking and arm flinging, the whole house was freaked out by where this mysterious ‘thing’ landed.   We looked hard but couldn’t locate the creature after the commotion.   Now I realize, while looking for a perfect salamander photo (below) (as opposed to the one above taken with an iphone in the swamps), that the creature was a baby salamander.

I think he might have seen me as his one way ticket out of the swamps — he even probably slept with me…I am feeling a little used 😉

spotted salamander on moss

image by .amor.fati. ( hibernating )

Meanwhile the crocuses are in full bloom….what is going on in your garden?

image by Davor Curic

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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2 Comments

  1. leslie land on March 24, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Way cool salamanders – but I’m not sure you’re the one who should feel used; the poor flung salamander seems to have gotten much the worst of the encounter.

    joke. I know you feel bad about it and I’m sure I would’ve done exactly the same thing; there’s just something about being crawled upon… Haven’t seen any here yet but then haven’t been out and about in our nearby swampy area.

    Don’t seem to have to go farther than the crocus lawn to pick up deer ticks, unfortunately. This is more or less the epicenter (Lyme CT. about a half hour away) and it looks like this is going to be a bad year.

    • rochelle on March 24, 2010 at 11:36 pm

      yes, anything with even slightly snake like qualities garners excessive behavior on my part. It’s out of my control. I just wish I could have found the little guy, at least so I could at least take him outside.
      Bummer about the ticks…we have them bad here too….I haven’t been bit yet his year but removed a couple crawling on my arm my first day out in the garden…it truly is an awful thing to deal with and something that I just don’t think gets enough attention from the medical/ insurance industry.

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