Shallow Thoughts

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Sat, 17 Nov 2007

A newt in the hand is worth two in the creek

We found a tiny baby newt struggling its way across the Zinfandel trail at Stevens Creek.

[rough-skinned newtlet in hand] [rough-skinned newtlet]

Really across the trail -- I didn't see it and might have stepped on it, but luck was with both of us. Dave spotted it after I passed. We stopped to admire, handle and photograph it, then set it gently off the trail so it could continue to struggle its way up the hill.

(Then rinsed our hands thoroughly -- rough-skinned newts and their cousins the California newts secrete a strong neurotoxin through their skin. It's only dangerous if you eat it. They have an interesting defensive posture -- which I've only seen in books and on the web -- showing bright colors to let an attacker know they're poisonous. Garter snakes are the only predator resistant to the toxin.)

I don't know what's at the top of the hill that's so attractive for a young newt, but evidently it's worth some effort. I hope this little one makes it there.

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[ 15:03 Nov 17, 2007    More nature | permalink to this entry ]