Thursday, March 13, 2008

Salamander Crossing

This isn't supposed to be just a nature blog but we have just had so much fun out in nature lately. Our friend invited us on another hike this week. We drove up into the mountains a bit for this one. It was a little misty today. Not actually raining but it looked like it might. We went out anyway.
We must have hit the trail at just the right time. Within a few steps out onto the trail one of the kids in our group found "a lizard". All the kids got really excited about it. After watching it for a little while we continued down the trail and were amazed to find more and more of these "lizards". I started to call it a salamander rather then let the kids keep thinking it was a lizard. Sophie got excited because we had just studied amphibians and salamanders in particular a few months ago. I don't know what was going on today but we really had to watch our step almost the whole walk because there were so many salamanders all over the path and trail. They were on the move somewhere.
Sophie quickly wasn't content just to look at them and had to pick one up. Then of course all the kids had to hold one. I felt bad letting the kids handle so many of them but there were so many salamanders around we really couldn't stop them. It was great to get a close up look at them. We watched how they walked and noticed the shapes of the feet, tail and head. It was great! I don't know exactly what type of salamander it was but after doing a quick scan of what salamanders are in that part of California. I think it is actually a Coast Range Newt.

We also saw a number of Banana Slugs. I knew these from many hikes and walks before.

We also saw a number of Stellar's Jays on our hike as well.

It was a great hike. Lots of great things to see.

8 comments:

Tammy said...

The salamanders, the moss, the banana slugs, the huge tree....what a lovely, lovely hike you were able to go on! I bet you all enjoyed it so much.

I just love all these naturey posts I see around on my favorite blogs. It gives me hope that spring will come for us too! :)

Cocoa said...

The Banana Slugs look so gross. I want to try holding one!

Bibliophile said...

Great hike! Great photos!

Becca said...

I wonder why there were so many?? What a great hike!

Andrea said...

What a beautiful area you live in and what an education for the kids to be able to examine up close and hold a real live Salamander. I have never even heard of a Banana Slug. This world is an amazing place.

About your "Homeschooling" post...
I hadn't heard about the governors response but am happy and hoping he actually comes through for all the h.s. families. I am on the edge of my seat! Keep us posted.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

It is usually weather that causes sudden rushes of certain insects and small insect eating animals like that. Maybe the weather was just right for finding food. Either way I'm sure it was fun. We once ogt to watch a slug actually eating on a hike. It was SO cool. I always assumed they would just kind of slowly disolve what ever they were eating, but they actually chomp very fast.

Angela said...

We are still doing white hour- but I swear soon it is going to be green. The slugs are really disgusting! In Asia, we would have had those for dinner-

School for Us said...

I've never seen a banana slug before - neat! And, my blog seems to be turning into a nature blog lately, too. But, my next planned post is about our Easter lapbook. :-) And, I need to post about how our new schedule is working. But, nature is so much fun, isn't it?