I am delighted to mention Salamander Season received a Commended Books in the 2016 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize For Excellence in Science Books
Written by Jennifer Keats Curtis and J. Adam Frederick, illustrated by Shennen Bersani, Arbordale Publishing, 2015.
I got right into my research for these illustrations! The Blue-spotted salamanders come out of their winter hibernation to mate in vernal pools in the middle of a rainy night, March to early April (dependent on the weather conditions each year). Searching night after night - I finally caught them! I drove to Bolton, Massachusetts, where they crossed the road in droves at midnight - in the cold rain. A number of passionate volunteers tried slowing down cars to keep them from being run over in the dark. (Amazed me how many vehicles were out so late on an out-of-the-way back road!) The species is of Special Concern in Massachusetts - here is a great document with all the facts http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/nhesp/species-and-conservation/nhfacts/ambystoma-laterale.pdf
My heartfelt thanks goes out to Rona Balco with the Bolton Conservation Commission for her assistance during the salamanders' "Big Night". Rona provided signs, safety vests, buckets, flashlights, plus unbridled enthusiasm for her job!
Front and center, I'm holding a salamander in the rain!
A page from Salamander Season. A terrific award-winning science book for young children!
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