The last two days have been moist and overcast which is just what the doctor ordered for toads! They are sounding off and attracting one another to wetlands to mate and leave their eggs. It is almost as if they are shouting, "We are amphibians too!". It is hard to find these animals when they are giving forth their shrill mating call, but patience can be rewarded. We found two mating, and another trying to get into the action. Their eggs are laid in long ribbons. We found them in vulnerable puddles, but also in the Lily Pond. These adult Toads are quite large, though the female is usually bigger (She is on the bottom).
Aside from toad activity, some flowers are emerging to the warming temperatures. Dandelions are making a floral statement along with Coltsfoot. In campsites, there are carpets of Whitlow Grass with opened, small petaled arrangements if the sun is shining. I love watching the Beach Peas emerge out of the sand.......first pink leaves that gradually turn green. I'm sure I would find more bloomers if I made my way into the woods, maybe tomorrow?
I found a Red Backed Salamander this week in a wet area under a log. The log had been placed over a patch of Goldthread, a lovely spring flower. The roots of this plant were exposed and helped explain the common name for this plant......they are yellow! It is a plant that likes a moist environment, just like the salamander.
One day last week I had the fun of seeing a Kiteboarder take off from Head Beach. He used his curved kite to navigate out over the water, back and forth, sometimes landing with a big splash then heading out to sea again. The wind was quite strong, and I think he eventually thought better of the activity and came ashore trying to keep his kite and all the strings attached in order. So spring has definitely sprung, though I wish my vegetable garden would dry out so I could do more planting. Have fun in this great outdoors, wherever you are! 4/28/11 Ronnie, springing forth.