Saturday, August 15, 2009

Isn't this supposed to be a desert?

While out in the Hidden Garden this morning, sitting at the table on the phone with Caro, a strange black and yellow fellow about 10" long slowly crept out from behind the big stuccoed box that houses our obsolete water filtration system. When I first saw its head, I thought, "snake." But soon it waddled out with four fully operational limbs. It certainly was moving cautiously, not in the speedy little jerks I'd expect from a skink or lizard. When it turned towards me, its flattened head and widely sprawled shoulders and hips gave it away as a salamander.

Now what's a salamander doing in the Hidden Garden? I guess that's proof positive that we've got a healthy ecosystem. Plenty of plants grown thickly together, probably lots of WUGs (wiggley, ugly grubs) to eat, moist understory, no predators (you think Bella is going to eat a salamander?).

However, we're a good 1/4 mile from the Alameda Drain and fairly permanent water. There's a landscape pond maybe 1/5 mile away. Either way, its a long crawl in a hot, dry world for a critter like Sammy Salamander to make it to the moist haven of our Hidden Garden.

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