Friday, October 28, 2011
The Red Eft (Notopthalmus veridiscens Rafinesque) is the land loving juvenile version of the Northern Spotted Newts (Notopthalmus veridiscens). I'd known both of these creatures separately for years. Well aware that the Eft resides in the damp mulch, near moss and rocks. It's trees are our Toadstools as it lurks amongst wood chips and beetles, fallen leaves, and the newly budding spring ferns. Bright red with hue encircled spots, a soft almost velvet skin you'd think belongs on a baby mouse. The Newts I would find in slow flowing, flat, and riffled streams and along the shores of blue lakes. Hiding between the summer weeds and the flotsam of reeds that once stood up stream. Their skins slimy filmed, tails flattened, upturned and hydrodynamic. The only vestiges of Eft are the red spots that line along their spines. They are the same creature in two separate stages of life. Knowing this gave me insight into their life's journey. From water to land then back from whence they came. I'm curious to know how the transformation takes place. Unfortunately, as we are getting into November, my search for that knowledge will have to wait until Spring.