Spotted Salamander

My basement has two windows that are below ground level and each has a recessed area around it lined with 6×9 railroad ties. I was cleaning the leaves and other assorted detritus from one of them today when I noticed a Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) trying to dig into the clay and find some cover.

This is the second one of these I’ve found in front of this window. The first was there 2 or 3 years ago and I, for reasons no longer remembered, released him without taking any photos. I didn’t make that mistake this time.

I realize that the window acts as a pitfall, but since I haven’t found any remains, salamander or other, I have to assume that it’s not an inescapable trap. I know there was a toad in there one night and gone the next morning. Anyway, I plan to make a habit of checking for critters occasionally in the future.

Rather handsome fellow, isn’t he?

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