Fall is when the Valley & Ridge Salamander makes an appearance on the surface. They also can be found in the Spring and early summer but by July and August they remain well-hidden deep underground. The adults are known for their long tails which exceed the length of their bodies and gold flecking on their backs. They are also unique in that they prefer areas with dry, well-drained soil and do not enter the water like many other salamanders do.
It's a species that is more common in Indiana County than realized but must have specific habitat to survive. In its range here in central Pennsylvania it is regarded as a Species of Special Concern. They reside in three of our county parks.
Pine Ridge Park contains a small cemetery that likely served as a family plot for a nearby farm. This marker is one of several in the location; most of the other markers are in smaller fragments.
This aerial view of the park was taken quite a few yers ago but the scene remains largely unchanged.