Friday, April 08, 2005

Salamanders and their friends. Or actually, Biology is Destiny.

I do live in a wool house, with cats, and now really yellow goldfinches, but last night definitely belonged to Sarah and her amphibian pals. It was Big Night, when they come out and return to their vernal ponds and lay eggs and ... well, salamander sex seems to be less exciting even than frogs', but I hope they enjoy it.

My period was a few days late. No prequelae. No PMS. Just yesterday, knowing I was going on a day-long road trip, my body said "Hey! This should be inconvenient!" and I said, "Yeah well, I put supplies in the lab last year, so there," and I stole some ibuprofen and had a fine day trip to Jefferson, NH. Five of us went to say goodbye for the moment to a dear friend moving back to TX. We did a couple of errands and I patted a lonely cashmere goat-boy, torn from his mommy's side because he was starting to get randy with his twin sister. (Kids do grow up fast.)

I also lent Matt a Kundert spindle and a bunch of roving. God help him. I need some more good, less expensive spindles to lend.

In the early evening I knitted on the porch, and moved inside. Then I knitted some more on the Ritrata Flower Basket Shawl, and tore it out, and started one in Harrisburg Shetland FBS, and tore it out. Three times. My temper, having missed out on this month's PMS, turned evil. I lectured Sarah on the state of the papacy (dire) and her ethics (imperfect, like mine). She pointed out that it was raining and 49 degrees, and we should put on our raincoats and look for salamanders. I told her she could wear a raincoat if she pleased but I just might not, how about that? She went and found flashlights, because she is patient.

So we went for a two-hour very slow slow stroll down the driveway. I spent the entire time complaining loudly that I was possibly going to throw up. Fortunately the amphibians were not scared off by this. Despite presages of messy painful welcome death, I was mollified by some 13 unsquashed (Yellow)Spotted Salamanders
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a Gray Treefrog whom I should have recognized sooner (I thought it was a very smooth toad),
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a couple of green frogs, around 20 Wood Frogs
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(this is a male. Isn't he sexy?)

and several peepers.
I cannot think the way salamanders walk, sort of switching their entire body distal of the front shoulders back and forth, is energy-efficient, but I am not going to quarrel with some hundreds of millions of years of selection.

Since cars arrived on the scene rather more recently, we helped them across the road. They were all headed downhill, onto other people's property. I felt particularly for the gravid (egg-heavy) females.

I am feeling better today, too.


Cassie said...

I'm glad you're feeling better.

The salamanders made me very happy. I haven't seen one since I was little. And my dad always loved frogs and would find them and we'd catch and hold them for a minute before letting them go.

on a fibery note: you LOANED out a Kundert spindle? This begs the question of how many you have. I would only lend one out if I had a backup (which I..... um... do).

Vicki said...

Laura- I continue to enjoy your earthy posts and pictures. There were salamanders at Wit's End this weekend, too. Sophie wanted to go get one, even though they taste bad, but we also seem to have a rash of possums right now so she stayed in. Still looking for a good spinning class around here so I can get up and running on my Ashford; this is clearly not so easy as a self-taught skill. A couple days ago I had a little fit and threw the handful of roving I was struggling with out for the birds.