Wildlife Wednesdays: Northern Ravine Salamander

With the warmer temperatures, we've been tackling our spring chores with gusto; including cleaning up the yard. I happened to be cutting weeds along the fence and picked up an old piece of wood. At first, I thought I saw a really big worm. Luckily, there were no chickens nearby to grab my "worm" before I got a chance to investigate. Because it wasn't a worm at all, it was a salamander; specifically a Northern Ravine Salamander.
Ravine salamanders (Plethodon richmondi) get to be about 3 to 4 1/2 inches long and occur in much of southern and eastern Ohio. They prefer moist slopes of wooded ravines where they can be found hiding beneath rocks and logs.

These are completely land-dwelling salamanders that even lay and hatch their eggs on land. Ravine salamanders can be found in the spring and fall but rarely in the summer since they spend most of that time buried deep in the ground seeking moisture.
The kids and I had a good time investigating our backyard find. Then we released our salamander into my sloping front garden far away from the chickens.
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