Every spring, nature comes to life just outside the door to me terrace. I live close to a small water pond. There is a drain below the stairs, which leads the rainwater out onto the meadows close to the pond. As the terrace is facing west, the landing is a shielded, dark, often humid place, until the very afternoon, when sun heats it up. Especially in the spring when the sun is still lying low, the stairs receive sun first late in the day. I think this is why my landing is often visited by toads, frogs and newts. Sometimes by only one, but during a spring rain multitudes of them emerge from the drain.
The newts are called "Small Water Salamanders" in Danish and they do leave the hibernation in the end of February. As they are amphibians, they are coldblooded animals, which means that their body temperature is equal to the temperature of the surroundings. In the early spring, when it is still cold outside, they are easy to pick up (carefully), as their motion is limited by the cold. But, it only takes them just a couple of minutes to absorb the heat from a human hand and they become lively and eager to be on the move, as seen from the clip below.
In some way the sight of these little creatures is yet another true spring sign.