Saturday, May 2, 2009

Salamander Hunting

We honored May Day a little late this year with a hunt for the elusive fire lizard. Rowan had yet to see the bright orange salamanders common to our area, and we awoke to a crisp spring morning, the air wet with new rain and a mist hanging close to the ground. I thought, for sure, it was too chilly for the little amphibians, but Papa insisted we should be able to find a few. He was right...

Papa's eagle eye discovered a total of four little lizards sunning themselves along the path through the wood. Rowan was tickled to discover a new creature so dazzlingly bright and charmingly adorable and surprisingly dry (he thought they would feel slimy). Born of fire, according to legend, but usually found in the damp wetness of spring and summer, the salamander is a bit of a contradiction and a perfect familiar for a Beltane celebration.

We thought we might catch the elves riding their trusty salamanders, but Rowan tells me they must have been napping. We knocked on a stump or two, but no one answered.

Rowan did manage to squeeze in some fishing (that would be dipping a stick in and out of the water) and sailing (using a fallen tree as a pirate ship) before we headed home for lunch.

After lunch we harvested the first juicy tart rhubarb stems of the season and make them into a pie. Check back and I'll be sure to post some photos and a recipe.


jodi said...


Green Mamma said...

earlier this week, i was fussing around in a stack of old cheap plastic pots (I keep them because I feel so guilty about throwing away the plastic; besides I can reuse them wit other plants), and was startled when i noticed a small blue and black creature in the bottom most pot. I hollered with fear, like a little girl, because I thought it was a snake, but after thinking about it and noticing a photo of salamanders in my daughter's book (and on your blog), I am convinced that I came face to face with a salamander.

Where are you all located? We're in Virginia, outside of D.C., and I just never ever saw a salamander before. It seems that lately, I am coming across a wider and wider range of wildlife (it's either that my eyes are getting better with age, ha ha, or the animals are being forced out of their habitat. sadly, i do believe it is the latter.).

Badyrka Family said...

The more I read your BLOG the more I realize what a gift you have for writing. You should write some children's books around these stories of your family. I think you could be very successful..
David, Kara, Ava, & Evan

Lisa said...

Such a beautiful salamander. I have yet to find envious!

Amanda said...

We're in NE Pennsylvania and have lots of good spots for salamander hunting. In fact, I have a very vivid childhood memory of collecting hundreds of salamanders one day in early summer with a girlfriend.

I've never seen a blue and black one, though! Just orange and black/yellow varieties.