Spotted Salamander Egg Masses on a Vernal Pool

"Buy a house!" they said.
"It'll be fun!" they said.
*insert surly look here*

On Tuesday morning, the 10-foot electric base board heater in the master bedroom started to smell funny and then it actually began SMOKING. We turned it off and found a space heater to plug in to an outlet to heat that room. Fortunately, I was there when it did it, and I responded instantly! Thank goodness it's late March, huh?

Then, on Wednesday morning, a pipe below the downstairs bathroom's sink began to leak. My husband removed the pipe and put it in a bag to take it to town to match it at a local hardware store.

Wednesday morning, we were supposed to get a big ice storm. However, it drizzled a little, made the front porch steps slippery, and then moved on. By lunchtime, the sky was clear and the roads were drying. So we went into town for parts.

We snagged some fine tasty fish sandwiches at Mickey D's for a late lunch, did a little shopping, ran some errands, and used our $10 off $40 coupon at Big Lots, where we picked up lots of fun deals and snacks.

Finally, we stopped at Home Depot, where my husband decided to focus on the plumbing repair first. (After all, we're not certain the big heater is toast, though I'll admit we are sort of afraid to even touch it again. Anyway, that's for later.)

He bought a plastic pipe piece to replace the leaky metal one for below the downstairs bathroom sink, but it's somehow not exactly the same size, and all of the other parts are still metal, and so when he got home and replaced the part, there is still a leak between the old and new parts. Bummer!

It is his ballgame, so he gets to decide if he wants to mess around with modifying the part, using plumber's putty somehow to stop the leak, or actually going back to the hardware store to get more or different parts. Isn't home ownership fun? "I'll take More Or Different Parts for $500, Alex!"

On the way home, he dropped me off at the other end of town to walk my way back home. And of course, I managed to swing by the corner of the Scotia Barrens to visit my favorite little vernal pool.

The last time or two that I was there, it was warmer and the vernal pools were hopping with amphibians. I did not see any actual frogs on this day, but I saw TONS of eggs, including these, which are spotted salamander egg masses. (Here is what they will look like when they grow up.) Hooray! There is hope for the amphibians!

It is my custom to select a song to go with my photo, so here is one that works, both for the salamanders and for us, for we all are living in this house of hope!  The song is this one: Toni Childs, House of Hope, from the Thelma & Louise soundtrack.

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