Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Visit By A Newt, or a Salamander Drops By

Good morning, Tina here.

A couple of weeks ago, we had quite a rainshower overnight. It really came down, washing the pollen off the trees, sweeping the gullies in the roadway free of leaves again. When I got up, the world smelled fresh, like the old Herbal Essence shampoo...
I grabbed a cup of coffee and looked out the slider onto the deck. I spied a lizard.

Wait, it's not a lizard, it's a salamander! I hope it's okay out there.

Try to sneak up on it, open the door, walk quietly, don't want it to scurry away.

Wow, it let me walk right up to it, it isn't even scared! A lizard would be gone the second I touched the door handle.

When we first moved into our house, over twelve years ago now, it was very early spring. We had to do a lot of clearing out of places under decks and porches. Under our front steps was a large blob of concrete, left over from pouring a foundation for the stairs perhaps.

Under the steps under the blob was a very pregnant newt. She was a beautiful bright orange with lilac tinges in the creases. She was slow as molasses, and just as sweet. It was our first "wild animal" we had found living close to our home. Perhaps she was an ancestor to this newt who visited us this summer.

My salamander finally took a step toward its home as I watched, afraid to move or breathe.

A hose becomes an obstacle to climb over.I hope he found a good meal out on this slimy slab of cement.

I finally had to get up close and personal. I just wanted to feel its coolness and its semi-rough little body, solid but tiny. It didn't seem to be bothered by my handling it.

When I was in first grade at the little two-room Summit School on Springer Road in Placerville, we didn't have a large playground or ballfields to keep us busy outside. But we did have a lovely little brook across the road from the school, and we had a lot of fun beside that stream. We found all kinds of treasures: tadpoles, watercress, polished stones, water skimmers, and salamanders. I think that is when I decided my favorite color was orange. There are not many orange animals in the world.

I was so happy this little guy let me enjoy him for a few moments before he went on his way.

Back into the lair of the toad, along with the dark scurrying beetles, and the lizards, safe from the cats and the corgi.

Bye bye little guy. Come back again sometime to visit me in the early morning. I know you are a night creature, so I appreciate you staying up late to see me.

Fare thee well, my tiny orange buddy.


Heidi Ann said...

Oh, how totally cool! And you got such great photos - thank you for sharing him with us, too!

yosemite faith said...

agreed-totally cool. loved the pics - your encounter made for a great post!!

Candice said...

What a pretty little critter that you befriended. Many years ago I spotted a gecko run into my closet never to be seen again. I live in Phoenix, AZ and sometimes in the summer when I pull my car into the carpet at night I will see 10 or 15of the little critters all over the stucco walls. The skin of a gecko is practically translucent. One time my kitty was on my patio and she tried to eat one and bit his tail off.