Hey, what are you doing awake? Aren’t you supposed to be hibernating?
It was so warm that I decided to come out and see if it was spring yet.
Weren’t you just out last month during a warm spell?
Yes, but this mating business is so important to us salamanders that I can’t let spring pass me by. I have to check out every possibility.
Where do you usually spend your winters?
We yellow-spotted salamanders ideally hibernate about six inches underground. However, I’ve just been buried beneath some leaves that are heaped on a concrete floor. Maybe that’s why I keep waking up. I need to find some deeper digs.
Once you really know for sure that it’s spring, where will you go?
In very early spring, we salamanders return to pools of water to mate. Females will lay up to a couple hundred eggs. Temporary vernal pools created by melting snow and spring rains are our favorite places because they aren’t home to the predators found in more established watering holes. We have to get there quickly so that the eggs have a chance to go through all the phases of growth before the pools dry up.
Good luck finding deeper digs. Hope to see you again, but no sooner than spring
Waking up throughout the winter takes up a lot of the precious energy I need for mating in the spring. I’m going to find myself a spot where I won’t be disturbed. See ya!
This yellow-spotted salamander was found wandering about on January 1st. It was previously seen on December 6th.