Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Red Eft in the garden and pond

I've been trying to turn over the soil and clean up this 30-year old garden. The soil is pretty depleted.
The wooden beams have rotted, they need to be taken out. This is prime habitat for salamanders, sadly.
Hubby has sanded the picket fence, in preparation for painting. Health issues preclude painting for now. He has his foot up and have to do the dang dishes...

I have ordered a ton of soil for my garden, as the soil is very hard and dry, on top of clay in late summer. Good exercise shoveling soil.

I seem to be able to grow salamanders better in my veggie garden than veggies. Fred, the groundhog, is one reason! You can see her video here.

First I spotted a blue-spotted salamander. A huge one, hidden around the rotting wood. I was sorry to disturb it, but it is a VEGGIE garden! We have many spots in the 8-acre forest where it could live! I placed it in the trees. I worried about handling it, but I don't wear sunscreen or bug spray, and wouldn't contaminate its fine permeable amphibian skin.
Blue Spotted Salamander

Then I dug up a Red Eft. I wasn't sure what it was, and I posted it to Mike Murphy's Facebook page. I knew that Mikey would know!
Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy, the big cheese at Murphy's Point Park, pointed out this species and illuminated its journey.

TEENAGERS... The Red Eft is the middle stage of the Eastern Spotted Newt. Born in the water, he spent a few months as a gill-breathing, larval salamander before transforming into the Red Eft stage. He'll eventually move back to spend his last stage in permanent waters, grow a finlike tail and turn a bronzy green with dark dots and ruby-red spots.

Water Strider, another part of pond life.
This one lives on the goldfish pond.
jumping for joy or air!

Below is my video of the Red Eft in the pond. I went down in my boots and stood in the pond. Standing really still, the action is amazing. The teeny 'rain drops' are really the tadpoles popping up to the surface. Then the BIG drops are the Red Efts grabbing a tadpole.

Can you count how many? Millions! But the Red Eft lurks below, hunting for dinner.

Slowly turns its head left and right
 ~looking for something yummy to bite.


TexWisGirl said...

such a great assortment of critters. :)

Linda said...

What a great video! I didn't know what they were either!

Petra said...

Once I came around a website giving advice on how to support life in one's garden and bring animals there. I really liked that and realized that such a garden can be a natural habitat of many species...

The fence around the veggie garden looks great! :-)

Christine said...

first I'm hearing of a red eft or a newt for that matter! enjoy your gardening!

Red said...

The red eft is a thing of beauty! We don't have them here.