One of the guys here to do some tree work last Thursday told me he had seen the largest salamander he’d ever set eyes on in my small reflecting pool. This is a spotted salamander, apparently common, but rarely seen, throughout the eastern US. When I found it the next day, it dove under water, then surfaced in the middle of the pool and just floated motionless. It’s about seven inches long.
This small reflecting pool (as seen last autumn), only about 7 by 7 feet and 8 inches deep, is its home, for how long, I don’t know. It seems very vulnerable to our many raptors and carnivorous mammals.
I saw a baby salamander last year, about 1.5 inches long and a quarter inch wide. I’d like to think this is the one from last year, but that’s wild speculation.
I watched it again yesterday in the late afternoon, which is the time it seems most comfortable floating on the surface. It seemed to be playing, swimming upside down, bending its body this way and that, for longer than I wanted to stay and watch.
My wild style garden is proving itself to be still wild.
Here is the salamander “dancing.”