This morning we headed over to one of my favorite parks for a nature walk. I almost didn’t take the camera because the trail we were going to hike doesn’t usually showcase many animals.
For the first half mile we didn’t see anything beyond the normal fast moving squirrels and chipmunks. Then to our delight we spotted a tiny red salamander.
Then two together.
Then we went down to the creek. We found a cool rock, eroded from the flow of the stream.
A large rock in the middle of the stream held a circular pool that reflected the trees above us.
We turned over a rock next to the stream and found a tiny salamander. Closer inspection revealed two salamanders. They looked very young. At first it was difficult to even see their legs.
The boys wanted to take the same path back to the car in hopes of finding more salamanders. We did manage to find a couple more salamanders.
Now that our eyes were looking for salamanders, we saw lots of small creatures. I have no idea how we saw a black wooly bear on brown dirt. We put it on a leaf for some contrast.
Did you know millipedes have stingers?
We found a spider web under a bridge…
and one up in the trees.
Chipmunks rarely sit still long enough for a photo, but I was lucky today.
C saw a squirrel that blended so perfectly with the trees I thought I would never see it.
The red salamanders are Eastern Red-spotted Newts. The ones by the creek with a stripe down each side? Those are Northern Two-lined Salamanders. Of course.
It was fun to research the salamanders, once we were home, to figure out which types they were. The boys were very enthusiastic about finding NINE salamanders. You just never know what you will find on a nature walk. Some days exercise is the main thing we achieve on our walk. Other days we learn about species of plants or animals that are new to us.
Wishing you many delightful walks this summer!