California Slender Salamander!

I had quite an exciting encounter with a California slender salamander. I had just finished mowing my lawn when I went back inside my house. My kitchen floor is a light cream color so I quickly noticed a dark, reddish-brown slender something in the corner. I initially thought it was vegetation from my yard. As I got closer, I decided to pick it up.

With a plastic grocery bag wrapped around my hand, acting as a makeshift glove, I saw it move! Wow! I knew it was something special, but I knew that inside my house was not the place for it. I had to catch it and return it to its home, my backyard.

I found myself talking with it, saying, “Buddy, I can’t help you if you keep running!” I eventually got my broom and used the handle to slowly flush it out. I had the broom handle in my left hand and my right hand was ready to gently catch the salamander as it ran out.

I saw that it was very young, and I was not sure if it was a lizard, but I knew that I had never seen it before in my garden. Quickly, to try to reduce its stress, I walked back outside to my backyard and it was, I am sure, relieved to be back home.

Because I did not want to add additional stress to this creature, I decided not to take a photo of it. Sometimes the desire for an interesting photograph is outweighed by the responsibility to be kind to a lost garden friend.

I discovered its identity after its release, and it is a friend: it eats snails, among other things. For photos and information about this lovely creature, please visit: http://www.californiaherps.com/salamanders/pages/b.attenuatus.html

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