To Get to the Other Side

It’s Spring. It gets rainy. It gets warm. Amphibians live for this stuff. (And reptiles are soon to follow.)

I heard a bit on NPR this morning about people in Vermont helping salamanders cross roads during mating season. I looked it up online, and it’s happening in a lot of places. Here are some links.

Volunteers Help Salamanders Avoid Rodeway Massacre

It’s Salamander Crossing Time

I love the title of this one from the NYT:
Chaperones to an Amphibian Dance

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I once pulled a U-turn on a major highway in Georgia for a snapping turtle. [Well, you don’t do U-turns on highways, you get off the exit, and find your way back on in the other direction. And also, it wasn’t me driving (thanks, J).] We were too late. I got yelled at by a man on a tractor for helping a black rat snake off the road in South Carolina. I sobbed out loud when I had to put a poor, crushed but still living painted turtle that had been hit on a dirt road in Massachusetts out of its misery. I cringe when I remember the sound of the migrating soldier crabs under our field truck’s tires in St. Croix. Roadkill gets under my skin, no matter what size and shape.

They’re slow. They’re little. They’re slimy or bumpy or serpent-shaped or camouflaged. They’re not too bright. They’re not always thought of as cute. They need all the help they can get.

And in the belief system I operate within, you get into Heaven (or some beautiful unnamed after-life place with lots of chocolate and happy, tail-wagging dogs) if you can put aside your big-brained, heavy-hearted, constantly-obsessed, creepy-crawly-fearing self to help even one of them out. Think of it as good karma.

(Image of Blanding’s turtle courtesy New Hampshire Fish and Game.)

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This is an article that was posted on Apr 6, 03:19 PM.

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