Thursday, April 24, 2008
The Salamader people
Every now and again, if you drive down our road after dusk, you will see about a dozen people walking along with headlamps and staring at the road. The first night they came out, our neighbor Megan called to explain they are the Salamander People.
Behind our house there is good-sized swamp and across the street is a large wooded area. Apparently, these geographic conditions cause those loveable amphibians called salamanders to cross our road, where people typically drive over 50 miles an hour. The Salamander People come out in the springtime when salamanders tend to be mobile to count how many are trying to cross. Their ultimate goal? To build a Salamander Underpass - literally a tunnel under the road - so that salamanders won't become road kill. There is already one such amphibian tunnel on the Cornell campus. I have no idea how you train the salamander to go through the tunnel, but they are completely serious. Only in Ithaca.
Which brings me to last night, when I slammed on my brakes (after checking the rearview mirror, Paul) to avoid running over a little green salamander waddling across the road. I felt bad for him (or her), and I hope the little community does get their underpass.
I know you want to read more about this.