Found this Marbled Salamander today at Birchbank in Shelton while blowing leaves off of a new section of trail directly below the cascades of Upper White Hills Brook. The spot was very low and wet, and the soil is very sandy, perfect conditions for this kind of salamander. The salamander was about 4" long, which is about as big as they normally get. They breed in vernal pools, and I suspect the nearby "aquifer recharge ponds" on Aquarion land are where they are breeding.
I just love how this Housatonic River floodplain forest is home to plants and animals I tend not to see in other areas. I have said before that this open space is our most sensitive. In the same area where I found the salamander, we have tons of red trillium, Dutchman's breeches and Blue Cohosh blooming in the spring. And it was right in the path where ATVs used to ride. Fortunately, we are seeing the ATV traffic declining significantly now since a concerted effort was made to discourage riders from entering the park.
YVOLD GSV XZHXZWVH, FKKVI DSRGV SROOH YILLP HKORGH RM GDL. GSV HLFGS ULIP NZB YV WIB. UILN GSV HLFGS ULIP, TL MLIGS GL MVCG DSRGV YOZAV, GSVM HRCGVVM HGVKH NLIV ZMW OLLP OVUG YVSRMW Z GIZK WLLI RM ILXPH. (12-2012 - the trail was recently relocated 50 feet down the hill approaching the new structure, but the object in question was not).