Sure, it may be the Year of the Frog, but what is this dude, chopped limb? No. He’s a Southern Two-Lined Salamander, Eurceya cirrigera, that I found beneath the leaf litter in the woods behind Jessica’s old (okay, not that old) Kentucky Home. He showed up on New Years Eve as if to remind us that if 2008 is a year to celebrate hopping croakers, 2007 was a great year for writhing squirmers:
All 3 Taricha torosa pics = J. Lo.
That last nerdy pic seems an appropriate segue to a Schrutian diatribe:
THESIS: The various magical powers attributed to salamanders by classical and medieval authorities [Paracelsus, I'm looking at you] can barely hold a candle to the actual feats of urodeles and their skin-snacking cousins the caecilians.
FACT: All salamanders respire across their skin and some (like the Eurycea in the first picture) have lost their lungs entirely.
NOT-FACT: Salamanders spring-forth fully formed from stones cast into a fire.