Thursday, January 2, 2014
Walking through the woods behind our home on New Year’s Eve, our beagle got spooked by something in the woods. This is an area where she often gets spooked and we speculate that there are coyotes in that area (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/habitat_partners/infosheets/coyote.pdf). We have seen two coyotes once while sipping our morning coffee in our gazebo. Our beagle is always suspicious of any movement or sound in the woods. Here she is staring across one of the ephemeral ponds also known as Grafton ponds. The ponds are wet in winter and dry in summer. This means they cannot contain fish and are great for amphibian species including the Mabee’s salamander (http://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/amphibians/salamanders/mabees-salamander/mabee's_salamander.htm) which is a state endangered species in our area. Soon in February they start breeding and there will be a cacophony out there. These woods were logged in the late 1990’s just before we moved into our home. It has been fun watching grow up from a plantation where we could literally look over the top of the trees to what it is now.