Mr. Nature: The Red Salamander

One of my favorite activities, as a boy, was to go out into the woods next door and turn over rocks and logs, looking for salamanders. There were a lot of them around, but it was always a big event when I found a red salamander–Pseudotriton ruber ruber, to the salamander cognoscenti.

The young ones are a brilliant orange-red with black spots; as they age, they grow darker. They aren’t very common, so it’s always worth a “Yahoo!” when you find one. They eat bugs, like the globalists say we should. But I could never get any of mine to eat, so I always had to let them go.

These are gorgeous little animals, they don’t bite, they were twice as big as any other kind of salamander I could find, and it’s a pleasure just to see one. I’ve never found one anywhere in this neighborhood. But there was a little swamp behind the Studnickis’ house (great for ice-skating in the winter) and they seemed to like the damp environment.

My parents never understood why I wanted to bring these home,. but they didn’tc complain about it.

Memory Lane: Red Salamanders

See the source image

Isn’t this just beautiful? The red salander, Pseudotriton ruber ruber–when I was a boy, you could find them in my neighborhood. That was before the political party that claims to be “for” the environment paved everything over.

My friends and I collected salamanders. The most common were the little redbacks. They were just about everywhere. But every now and then you’d find a red salamander–bright red, speckled with black, with a salmon-pink underbelly. Like living jewels.

I still look for salamanders, occasionally, but the only ones left are redbacks. There are no more gorgeous red salamanders around here. They had to go, to make way for nail salons and trendy restaurants. And now, high rise tenements. Makes our town more urban, dontcha know.

In the restitution of all things we shall see Creation as the Lord Our God created it. And I’m sure He won’t forget to include these salamanders.

Mr. Nature: the Red Salamander

Jambo, backyard safari fans! Mr. Nature here, with the Red Salamander, Pseudotriton ruber ruber, a critter I haven’t seen since I was a boy.

This gorgeously-colored salamander was the crown jewel of salamander-collecting in my neighborhood. Only rarely did you find one. I remember vividly the time I rolled away a bit of telephone pole laid at the end of Maple Street to keep cars from rolling into the woods and getting stuck. And there it was: flaming red with black spots and a salmon-pink belly. I’m pretty sure that was the last time I saw one.

You can keep a Red Salamander in a terrarium with moss and leaf-litter, a bit of bark to hide under–which it will do most of the time–and plenty of nice soft grubs and caterpillars to eat. Don’t let the terrarium environment get hot or dry. Now that I’m all grown up, I recommend not capturing the salamander at all: just let him go about his business, and enjoy his handsome colors for a minute or two. They’re much larger than most of the other salamanders around here–about the size of a grown man’s finger.

Just another beautiful bit of God’s stuff.

God’s Stuff: Salamanders

Hi, Mr. Nature here–with some fond memories of salamanders.

Take a look at that Red Salamander (P. ruber ruber)–isn’t he gorgeous? When my friends and I used to go out catching salamanders, this was the grand prize. They were never very common–but just look at that color.

The video shows the Red Salamander entering water, but none of the ones I ever caught were in the water, although they were never very far away from it.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen one of these. As a rule, salamanders are pretty good at adapting to humans in their environment; but we’ve reached a point beyond which salamanders cannot go. Even the little redbacks, who used to be ubiquitous (gee, I don’t get to use that word too often!) around here are getting hard to find.

Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)

It would be a poorer world without them: and it doesn’t strike me as wise to squander even the smallest of God’s blessings.