Thursday, September 10, 2009

Red Sally

Pseudotriton ruber

From my research it appears that this red salamander is found throughout the Eastern United States. It lives near springs and swampy areas. This little delight was in the middle of our hiking path (a utility road) just above the the Blackwater River and I was amazed when I really saw it. It was like a lovely jewel that someone had dropped on the path.

There was a small ditch filled with water from several mountain springs on the uphill side of the trail and that side was also covered with deep green and lime green mosses and ferns growing lushly to accompany the lyrical sound of the gurgling water. He was only 2.5 inches in length and initially I mistook him for one of the new maple leaves that were starting to fall in the Canaan Valley mountains. It was the alert observation of my husband that brought our hike to an abrupt halt for photos and insured we would not step on him/her. He lay very still much like some of the wild snakes I have encountered. I am sure he was thinking "I am a red leaf. Move on. Please, just move on!" which after a few camera clicks, we did. This red color has not been enhanced or photoshopped although I did do some sharpening of the photo. Amasingly, this is the true color. I think he/she is a young specimen as the spots are supposed to blend into the back when they are mature. (Click on photo for a slightly closer look.)

Even though I am not here I look forward to any comments on this when I return. I love comments!


Barry said...

Well he is beautiful and a real find. Unless there are a lot of maple tress near by, I'm not sure red would be my colour of choice for camouflage.

Great photo and an interesting story.

Anonymous said...

He/She is just a treasure!
I too am amazed at his colouring and wonder what on earth he camouflages with? Like you say apart from the falling maple leaves I cant imagine what else he could camouflage with? I am fascinated that he is a native to your area.
Great find and beautiful shot Tabor.

Sky said...

what a find!

One Woman's Journey said...

I learn so much from you - I think my new air card is working!!!!

Scarlet said...

I love its color and what a great close up shot! Thanks for the info on the little guy. I like what he was thinking ("move on, just move on!"). Then when you snapped the photo he was probably thinking, "Great, now she's going to post a pic of me on her blog and call me Red Sally!" :)

Linda said...

Red Sally looks like a little rubber toy someone dropped along the trail, unreal. There is probably some red rocks or moss close by where the lizard hides. You have such a keen sense of observation, Tabor. Thank you for the education.

Kerri said...

Isn't he amazing with that bright orange-red coloring? We see them around here quite often, and my gransons are so excited when we find one.
I think you'll find it's a red-spotted newt or red eft/aka eastern newt. I found this out when I researched the first one I found a few years ago.
I think they're related to salamanders. That's what I thought it was when I found it.