March has brought unusually warm weather to our area. Because of this, several events have happened earlier than usual. My crocus and daffodils are popping up all over the yard, the pussy-willow catkins are already starting to flower, I saw my first robin, and the spotted salamanders began their annual migration.
According to our local park ranger, Taro, every year, the salamanders leave the woods and make their way to the vernal pools where they were born. I had a chance to see these pools teeming with life on a warm night. Of course, when we came back for our homeschooling class, the temperature had dropped about twenty degrees. This made it much harder to find the salamanders.
Sometimes you have to lift up logs and stick your hands in stinky muck so that your child can marvel at the wonders of the natural world.
I happen to think it's worth it.
And then I had the chance to marvel at my child. I suggested she go wash her hands so that she could take a picture of the salamanders we found. When she came back, she brought a wet towel for my own hands. I didn't even have to ask her to do it.