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Big Night: The Salamander Sky is here!

All day I could not wait for the sun to go down. The rain was pouring and pouring in sheets. The ice on the pond was melting. The mud was growing soft. The world felt like it was waking up from a very long nap. We ate an early dinner, and headed out before the sun went down in our rain jackets, mud boots, and ball caps. I found some eastern newts already making their way across the dirt road in front of our house, in fact, since it was commuting time, 3 had already been hit by cars.

The sun finally dipped and was gone, and we were out and patrolling the road in front of our house. Within minutes, a car driving blessedly slow pulled up. Is there where the salamanders cross? They asked. That was the beginning of what was seemed to be a secret salamander society out that night. This slow driving, salamander society held flashlights, wore reflective vests, and smiled a great deal.

Within moments we found our first spotted salamander crossing (see the moment here: First spotted salamander). Just listen to the joy as we quickly move the gorgeous creature across the road. There is nothing like that feeling, as April describes in Salamander Sky, there is a warm glow in our chests. We have done something good.

We spend the next several hours helping spotted salamanders (11!), numerous wood frog, and eastern newts cross safely. We marvel at tiny fingers and toes, long tails, and spherical, glossy eyes.  Great Horned owls call to each other over our heads.

We meet up with other members of the salamander society and chat for a bit, noting the most active areas for migration on the road. Great Horned owls call to each other over our heads. Wet and tired, but happy, I put the girls to bed and go out one last time just before midnight. I find this spotted salamander moving across our driveway.

The last one of the night, under this Salamander Sky.  Nature astounds me. Please drive slowly, keep an eye out for these late night travelers, and help them cross safely if you can.

BPMS: Salamander News Broadcast Created by Kids


It may STILL be icy and cold out, with no salamanders crossing, but not to these amazing Brewster Pierce Elementary School students in Huntington, Vermont!

They created an entire news show broadcast about the night being perfect for the salamanders to migrate! There are newscasters, a meteorologist, umbrellas, and salamander crossing signs. It is pure joy, and an example of how teachers and students can use picture books to spark meaningful projects and creativity that can help improve the world.

Here is  the blog from the active and dynamic library, and the student’s news broadcast! I’m so honored and excited that they created this lively broadcast and shared it with me.

Speaking of using Salamander Sky and other picture books to spark engagement, relevance, excitement in project based learning…..I’m leading a workshop for educators at the lovely Bear Pond Books next Saturday, April 28th at 11am.  I hope to see you there.

Spreading Salamander Love: Tales from the Salamander Sky book tour

It’s been a whirlwind since one nor’easter after another and the release date of Salamander Sky on March 9th, 2018. I waited with baited breath to see if we would have books in time for the launch and just barely in time they came– to the lovely Bear Pond books!

North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier

March 10th, 2018:

The book tour started with a bang with a standing room only crowd at the North Branch Nature Center.  It was an all ages group that came out to celebrate salamanders, nature, and our new picture book, Salamander Sky.  The event had a book talk and reading, presentations from two naturalists, hands on stations for kids, and large, gorgeous salamander cookies. Kids large and small were introduced to the beautiful spotted salamander, and promised to look out for this delightful creature this spring.

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