What a find and a rare find at that. A Spotted Salamander!
These secretive animals spend almost their entire lives hidden under rocks or logs. Only coming out at night to feed and in the Spring to mate.
Although, on the smaller side at about 2.5", this dude had a full, plump belly!
I remember when I was a kid that we'd hunt for this critters in the Spring in the hopes of catching a glimpse of some. We'd head down to the neighboring stream in early March. Usually on a rainy night following a full moon. That's when they'd come out to mate.
There were times when we'd spot one or two. Even when we didn't I recall finding their jellied egg clusters affixed to branches. Sadly, today they're becoming harder and harder to find, which is why finding this dude in our pool is an encouraging sign but it also reminds me of another place and time.