Central Newt


The Central Newt is a type of salamander that has aquatic larval and adult life stages as well as an intermediate terrestrial stage. It is the terrestrial stage, known as an eft, that we have encountered on several occasions at Chert Hollow. We once found an eft in the woods near ephemeral ponds. Somewhat more surprisingly to us, we’ve also twice encountered an eft while digging sweet potatoes in the main vegetable field (in 2012 & 2015).

Spring Peeper

Spring peepers are best known from their spring chorus, which can be deafening in the vicinity of a peeper-populated water body. Overall, we hear them far more than we see them. Counter-intuitively, in the drought of 2012, we saw a number of individuals, probably ones that have been drawn to irrigation water as natural water bodies dried up. We saw several in a particularly unusual place: on okra leaves, as seen photographed here.

These small frogs are best identified by the X on their back, as seen below. More info available from MDC.


Small-mouthed Salamander

As of 2012, we have had three sightings of Small-mouthed Salamanders at Chert Hollow Farm. All observations have been in the spring in moist permanent beds. We generally find them when hoeing beds in preparation for planting. Fortunately, all of the ones we’ve found have escaped a direct encounter with the hoe. The one in the photograph sat still for a while in the sun, semi-encrusted in soil, before warming up enough to scurry off through the weeds.

Gray Treefrog

Gray treefrogs are relatively common amphibians at Chert Hollow Farm. We often hear their trill in the spring. They are hard to spot in the woods due to their excellent camouflage, but we often see them clinging to walls of farm buildings during the warm months of the year. We’re happy to have them around eating insects & other invertebrates.

Confusingly, some gray treefrogs, such as the one below, are green; these are not to be confused with green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea), which do not generally occur in Boone County.