Living out here in the wild west, you never know what you’re going to find. The other day, I was out back in my bathrobe and fuzzy slippers waiting for Annie to do her morning business when a misplaced board caught my eye. It has been lying around the back yard for a long time. I decided I would finally put it away. It was all wet and soggy from the rain. I picked it up by the corner, lifted and saw a pair of eyes staring at me.
What is that? I asked myself. It was too big to be a newt, too long to be a frog. It kind of looked like Gollum from Lord of the Rings or maybe a slimy six-inch alligator. It seemed to be saying, “Put the lid back down, put it down,” so I did, anxious to hide this critter before Annie saw it.
Naturally I went inside and looked it up on the Internet. It’s a salamander, an Oregon Ensatina, to be specific. Three days later, it’s still here. Every time I lift the board, I find it. Salamanders tend to live their lives pretty much in the same place, so we may have an extended relationship–as long as I don’t put that board away. Salamanders, who live on bugs, are nocturnal, so I have to stop lifting the board to peek.
Today I got him/her to pose for a photo. I call him/her Sally. Of course.