Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jeffersons on King

I missed getting my post up last week. Not sure why, but I probably was having trouble getting a good photo and looking ahead to the next letter, wasn't sure I wanted to waste a good K on a J.
So here is a combo.
King Road runs north-south from the lake to the escarpment. It is a pretty street at the bottom end with nice houses set back off the street. There are also no sidewalks and lots of trees, making the road feel like the country. It is the boundary line between Burlington and Aldershot, a village that was annexed in 1962.
Continuing up King Rd, there is a bit of an industrial section, then you have a level crossing at the train tracks before going over the highway. Past this, the road winds its way steeply (oh, so steeply!) up the escarpment through not so very populated areas and vast open spaces with great views.
And it has been in the news lately, first for a horrific train crash earlier this month and now for its road closure.
As you can see with this map, it is not the most direct 
route to get from Plains Rd to Waterdown (road or town)
But the Jefferson Salamander is on the move. It is time for these creatures to cross the road to their breeding ponds and to lay their eggs. Since they are an endangered species, the success of these 100 or so salamanders eggs is important.
not my photo
my photo

In the past there has been a voluntary closure, with a detour onto Waterdown Rd during the night (from 9pm to 6am) which is when these guys like to migrate. Now, a small section of the road is permanently closed until the end of this month, with a $110.00 fine for disobeying. So far, no salamanders have been injured or killed, though apparently some people have ignored the barricade.

Here are some interesting facts about the Jefferson Salamander:
*they change their spots, starting off as yellowish green with dark spots and as they get older they trade their black spots for yellow ones and turn a more greenish grey. as adults they turn grey and their spots become more blueish and specked.
* they can detach their tail when threatened. they can also tuck their heads under their tail and from this position can do a body flip. there is also some kind of toxic ooze that comes from glands near the base of the tail.
*they are homebodies and are very picky about where they live, rarely moving more than a mile from whence they originated. so transporting them to safer ground is not an option.

With this warmer weather and an earlier start to their migration, they should have crossed the road safely and King Road will once again be opened to people and their dangerous vehicles by Friday.


  1. Fascinating. I didn't know about the migration of the salamander. Interesting there is a fine for going beyond the closed sign. Its nice that such a tiny critter is being saved.

  2. Protect all of our species
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  3. Oh how entertaining - and so interesting. I've heard of closing streets for turtles and now salamanders. So cool!

  4. ...rarely moving more than a mile...!
    A mile would be quite a great distance for such a tiny creature, wouldn't it?
    I think it's just . . . NICE . . . that they've closed the road for the little things. It's only fair, after all. They were there first!

  5. Just imagine that!

    abcw team

  6. It pleases me to read that human beings take the life of this little salamander into consideration so much. And that is how it should be. I'm glad we're unselfish enough to do that.

  7. Wow! Amazing that they closed the road!!

  8. Thanks for this really interesting post.

  9. I'd heard about these salamanders on the news but it didn't register in my mind that you live so close to them.


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