What Is It?

By MDC | March 1, 2024
From Xplor: March/April 2024
  • Through the darkness I sneak,
  • Without a croak or a creak.
  • It’s a puddle I seek,
  • Where I’ll dance cheek to cheek.


Spotted Salamander

On rainy spring nights, spotted salamanders creep from their burrows in the woods and crawl to shallow, fish-free ponds. There, males and females swim together — some biologists call it a dance — then females lay globs of eggs on underwater plants. In a month, legless baby salamanders hatch out. Unlike their air-breathing parents, the little ones have gills and breathe water. By summer, they’ve grown legs and lungs, and leave the water to find a burrow of their own.

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This Issue's Staff

Artist – Matt Byrde
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Marcia Hale
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber