Spotted salamanders come out of hiding during the first warm spring rains and migrate after sunset to nearby ponds to mate, but they do have to cross certain roads and they welcome your help.
Here's what you need to know:
When do they migrate? During the first warm rains that carry through the day and into the night with the temperature staying above 40 degrees. The salamanders migrate through the night.
When should I go? Between 8pm and 10pm is the most critical time to protect them from cars.
Where to go? Various places where there's a road alongside an ephemeral pond. My go-to spot is on Thomas road for the couple hundred yards North of Thomas Farm B&B. You can see in this map that there's a stretch of marsh on the right side of the road there. That's where they go to breed.
What should I do? Stay safe and dry. Bring flashlights. Walk along the road. When you see a salamander, you can watch it cross safely, but that can be impractical if there are many salamanders or cars. So, you can pick them up and carry them across, BUT it's important to carry them in the direction they are going. Some may be going to the marsh to mate and some may be returning from the marsh. It should be obvious. If not, just wait a minute... it'll become obvious.
How many will I see? It depends. If you catch a big migration, you might see one every few minutes. Migrations can be more sporadic or dispersed over days.
Why is this a CommonSpot thing?
Well, that's a bigger question. There really are so many reasons. The CommonSpot strives to bring people together for the common good, but this isn't simply another way that we are building community. The spotted salamander has a special place at the CommonSpot. It's all over our branding. It's our mascot. It's symbolic of our values... especially tonight as they get together to be productive. ;)
I spotted my first spotted while helping friends install a fence in Brooktondale. We had just been brainstorming on the CommonSpot logo, and suddenly there it was unearthed before us. Turns out, they are super cool! (wikipedia page)
Fun facts: They are native here, can live into their 30s, and are fossorial! (that means they live underground) ...and they're always smiling for some reason. Hm... Perhaps that's because we usually see them during mating season.