salamander THE STATE AMPHIBIAN of South Carolina was waiting in the backyard water garden for me today, or maybe for a lover more to his taste. While cleaning the pools of rotted leaves and whatever else blew in, it’s typical to encounter the many frogs who have overwintered with me, but today was a bonanza: Up with a net full of muck came a startled red Eastern Newt, and then also this much larger cousin, the Eastern Spotted Salamander. The species is terrestrial, living mostly underground in moist woods, but come spring it seeks a vernal pool (or my little homemade ponds) to reproduce, laying giant egg masses in the water. Mark it down: one spotted salamander, the spring’s first harvest, quickly returned to beneath the surface after his close-up to go about making many more.

  1. StaceyH says:

    Lucky you! That is so neat. If you haven’t heard, we have an American green tree frog that has taken up residence in the garden department, after he was found in a box of mustard greens in the EDF kitchens.

  2. margaret says:

    I won’t tell Martha that you are harboring native wildlife on the 24th floor of the office! Nice to hear from you (and about the escapee from the Everyday Food Magazine kitchens). If he wants a country home, I can offer it…

  3. Vera says:

    I just moved into a new home it is 1/2 acre of nothing but over crowed perennials . We got a We got a few got a few butterflies but nothing else. In Even the birds are scarce but I think that’s because of all the neighborhood cats.does anybody have any suggestions as to bring some wildlife to my tiny ploy in upstate my?

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Vera. The number 1 thing you can do is have a source of water year-round, even a small feature (that stays unfrozen I mean). More about making a wildlife garden is in this article.

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