in the basement! Yep, that's right. A few nights ago while doing our evening check for all the cats, we found this super cool Jefferson salamander walking about the basement. According to James Petranka in Salamanders of the United States and Canada, "The Jefferson salamander inhabits deciduous forests from New England south and southwestward to Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. Populations are patchily distributed across the landscape and are restricted to sites where suitable breeding ponds occur. Adults are frequently collected in and around breeding ponds in late winter and early spring, but they largely reside beneath the ground at other times of the year."
We assume this salamander crawled in through our rock foundation as s/he moved about in the soil. The ephemeral wetlands are filling in the woodlands around our house so we took the salamander out and placed her/him at the forest edge. Here you can see the salamander crawling quickly into the grass for cover.
What fun! We so love living where salamanders can find their way into our basement!