Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Plethodon shenandoah
Shenandoah Salamander

Shenandoah Mts., Virginia
April 23, 2006

"...the trail quickly became steep, as it passed up through mixed stands of trees, and in short order there were plenty of rocks to look under. Here I found a number of Redbacks, the species that would compete with Plethodon shenandoah further up the mountain. This was turning into a major hike - the trail seemed to go straight up, and had numerous switchbacks, and after a half hour of slow but steady walking, the trees began to thin out, and to shrink. The summit seemed near now, and I was still turning up Redbacks. Then I saw an exposed talus slide ahead, and I got my hopes up - this was where shenandoah likes to live. Upon reaching the base of the rock pile, I flipped a bit of log about as thick as my arm, and there it was - a dark, pretty little salamander, sporting tiny silver and gold flecks on the dorsum. Plethodon shenandoah, and this one was a gift - I didn't need to clamber over a pile of rocks, or disturb anything, or fall down the mountain. It was right here, and it seemed all too easy, if you didn't count the hike up here..."

Day Three,  The Great Salamander Swing






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