Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Salamander Seekers Shadow Surprise

See the surprise in the shadow?

Is there something orientalhaikuorigamisushi artsy about that photo above or is it just me?

Junior spotted this little fellow in a puddle, next to a creek, after a rain.
Pretty good eye, don'cha think?

Don't let the cute, big-eyed face fool you. He's a tiny little guy, but he's still a predator.

This is a different salamander, but probably the same species. He's in a creek, beneath 3 or 4 inches of moving water.

It looks like the perfect ambush for any careless little critter that comes cruising downstream.
Junior spotted this one too ... he was like a salamanderhound on this day.

I don't know the species of this salamander, and since it wasn't encountered in Florida, I'm not driven to sift through the many species of salamanders found in the Appalachian region of these United States in order to identify it.
If you know it, feel free to share.

Above: Not all the predators were in the rushing creek water.

We must have seen a blue million of these and their kin.

Here are the salamander seeking team members poking around in a tiny creek. They had originally gone down to the creek to dam it ... forgive us, but we Floridiots get a little crazy when we see rushing water and rocks. Our streams don't rush (Even the water wants to stay longer in Florida) and our rocks are mostly hiding under deep sands.
It's easy to spot us on trips north where the land rises up to make rushing streams and and winters are truly cold.
In the summer, we are the ones damming creeks and taking river rocks home in our pockets.
In the winter, we are the ones playing in the tired 3 day old snow on the side of the road and having a great time.
It's all so different, don'cha know.

When salamander hunting, being fearless helps. Here, Emma and Junior are entering a Hobbit hole.

At the other end, just as they were about to emerge, Emma pointed out the wasp nest just above Junior's head, so they exited the culvert quicker than they had entered.


Dani said...

I remember being little and catching salamanders with my brothers in a little spring behind our house. It's beyond sad now that it's all poisoned from the runoff from the mountain top removel.

Caroline said...

My father is a master salamander hunter. We spent hours "treasure hunting" while in the Adirondack forest carefully turning over rotting logs looking for red efts. These are the juvenile stage of the red-spotted newt. they favor forest litter as a habitat prior to returning to the water as an adult. There were other creepy-crawlies to be found as well, but it was a real treasure to find one of the efts.

Cathy S. said...

We do the same thing when we go north. I have fond memories of times playing in mountain creeks moving rocks with my grandfather standing above us with a shotgun in case we came across a rattlesnake. Are you in North Georgia this week?

Pablo said...

Are your younguns all up to date on their shots? I sure wouldn't let them go into a metal culvert barefoot.

robin andrea said...

Cool salamanders, and yes Junior has good eyes for spotting those little critters. I love those dark wings on that blue darner. I've never seen that before. Very nice.

lisa said...

Lots of little critters around.

Pablo said...

What state is this if not Florida?

Floridacracker said...

That's a shame, how will new kids have those memories?

Caroline, I've never seen a red eft in real life.

Cathy S,
I was recently in North Georgia moving rocks around.

Shots? You're supposed to give them shots?
This was in the northernmost edge of Georgia.

Less than at home, but diversity drops as you move away from the tropics. Pretty cool critters tho.

Julie Zickefoose said...

FC, The Science Chimp is leaning toward Northern Dusky Salamander, Desmognathus fuscus. Very wide distribution from the Gulf Coast to New Brunswick, but it neatly misses all of Florida except a bit of the western panhandle, so I'm not surprised it was strange to you.

I love the new header of Bear hugging Junior. ADORABLE! I daydream of getting Bearness and Bakerness together.

Aunty Belle said... ya whar' I think? Near the GA/ Tenn line?

I think ya used every Japanese word ya knowed---hee hee.

I did see a red eft in them parts, FC--wow to Caroline--cause I did NOT know it was the young version of a red newt. Seen it in a pile of ole leaves near a creek--damp but not wet leaves.

Kudos to the young fella fer havin' sharp eyes.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Is that a giant water molecule in there? Technically yes, we're more water than anything else. Looks fun -- culverts always are ... unless you're in the city and its the sewer ... in that case, stay away.

Doug Taron said...

That's a great picture of the ebony jewelwing damselfly. It's a boy- the girls have a white spot near the tip of the forewing. Looks like you guys were having way too much fun there.

Thunder Dave said...

I still like rushing water except when it's in your yard heading for for your front door! ;-)

amarkonmywall said...

Your children court natural mini-disaster just the way you do. Next week I head up to the best body of water in the whole world-Lake Michigan- and I can barely wait. There, I will look for some Petoskey stones for you, entirely unique to that area, and oh-so-beautiful. Up north we try to stay out of culverts and that's a habit I'm not about to break.

Floridacracker said...

Wow! Thanks, there's only about a bazillion salamander types up here! I think Bear and Chet Baker would be hilarious together!

You could spit and hit TN from here! Blue Ridge, GA. Yes, I pretty much used up my Japanese vocab on that one.

Yes, even I avoid the sewers.

Thanks! I knew you'd know that one. There were huge confabs of them along the river.


Gee, this culvert was positively sterile compared to a gator inhabited, moccasin stuffed, 12 species of wasp all of them pissed off, and some big honking spiders to boot, Florida culvert.

Keely said...

Cool! I keep finding these little, tan/pink salamanders in a small stream in havanah, Goriga. I am ripping out my hair trying to find out what kind they are...