Sunday, September 7, 2008

Super Sarah

After a gentle sprinkle (Hurricane Hanna), or a rain or even a dampish evening, I don my super-hero cape before I go on my walk. I then use my X-ray vision to distinguish between road kill and my little friend, the red eft. Some people just call them newts.

I never noticed them too much until I started biking so many years ago. They seemed to be all over the roadways- most of them flattened by the traffic. While I am an animal lover I don't cry too much over these lost lives as other animals benefit from these fast-food tidbits- like my dog who has decidedly fishy breath from the consumption of so many recently expired amphibians.

But wanton death is unnecessary. If I see a live one I pick them up by their tails to keep from damaging their delicate little bone structures and move them to the side of the road they were headed for. Some times they squirm and fight me, other times it is as if they are dead. I put them down in the grass and they lay there, dazed, hoping that I will just go away.

This one in my hand had a bit of a defiant stare. He craned his head up to look me in the eye as if to dare me to eat him. No thanks.

There are other animals in the road- like this slug complete with slimy trail. He is, in naturalists' parlance, lacking in animal charisma. He is on his own.

There are lots of dead toads and frogs looking like so many deflated balloons with bony feet. I rarely see a live one to save, but it would be a stretch of my bravery to grab one without screaming and jumping from foot to foot. Not that a frog has ever done anything bad to me, but they have erratic movements which make me nervous. We like them- but at a respectful distance.

We won't even talk about snakes!


LYC said...

I think the orange spotted salamander is NH's state amphibian?

Michelle said...

LYC is mysterious and I am untidy? Hey?! I get dist more than I am comfortable with here. If I didn't have kids would I still be untidy?

SMC said...

Okay, okay.... is that better?

Untidy popped into my head as I thought of you at the wheel of your car taking us the most circuitous route to our destination, the whole time blissfully ignoring my directives- "GO THAT WAY!"

Michelle said...

yes, thank you. I like that one much better. and seriously, i could never be mysterious..who am i kidding?

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I love that you move the little newts. I move frogs, snakes, and other such things off of the walking paths, too... and the other day I scooped a cricket out of the sand on the volleyball court (in the middle of a game, yes) and dropped him off at the fence on the edge. It's always funny to hear a 6' tall, muscular guy say, "Did you just pick that up with your hands?!?!" lol.