Sociable climber

October 09, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Rather in answer to my prayers—a new drought has taken hold—the day and night remained damp and dank and we've been blessed with a modest amount of rain. It makes for less-than-pleasant walking and outdoor photographing conditions, but I'm not complaining. Neither is this Red-backed Salamander that I discovered channeling a Spring Peeper or Gray Tree Frog. Normally, when I find these exceptionally common amphibians, they're making their livings under logs, where they stake out a safe territory and dine on ants and termites. However, under the cover of darkness and high humidity, they often emerge for walkabouts in the woods and even on the lawn in search of new feeding possibilities and, of course, mates. I don't know what this Red-backed was after, since when I spotted it around 10-ish in the evening, it had climbed up the glass of the basement storm door to a height of about four feet off the ground. Perhaps it was hunting moths and smaller insects drawn to the light. Perhaps it was just adventurous. Or maybe it was paying a social call.


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