Okay, truth be told, this is probably not a newt. Dr. Google informs me that while all newts are salamanders, not all salamanders are newts. It is, though, definitely an amphibian, and I’d say quite a cute one.
We found this little character while on a trip to my mother-in-law’s a couple of years ago. To give a sense of scale, the maple seeds shown were probably about 2 to 2 and a half inches long.
Among the other various and sundry candidates for yesterday’s photo theme of “cute,” I considered some other baby animals. In particular, these teeny tiny toads came to mind.
The nearby zoo includes, in addition to the various animal enclosures holding non-native animals, large open areas that are home to native flora and fauna. There is a deer park that stretches over many acres of woods that includes a pond. From late May through maybe early July, visiting the deer enclosure also gives you the chance to see these little guys.
Sometimes the pond edges are positively teeming with tadpoles, lining it with dark blotches that can be many feet across.
They are a constantly moving mass.
I find it fun to look for tadpoles that are transitioning. Zooming in, you can see that many of these guys have legs as well as tails. Some just the back legs, some back and front.
And apparently once they are finished growing their legs and losing their tails, they feel compelled hop on out of the pond.
The path alongside the pond is sometimes hopping with them, carelessly crossing paths with oblivious humans with their big stompy feet. (Or others perhaps less oblivious, with their giant hands and their cameras.)
This picture of an adolescent lion cub yawning cracks me up. And given how tired I am right now, and how cranky I realized the tiredness had made me, it seemed to fit the mood.
(Actually, I am generally quite happy tonight, bursts of crankiness aside. My mother has come out for a visit from California, and I am looking forward to her company. I am also very appreciative of the help she is planning to give me with some of the overwhelming home projects that are leading to my cranky tiredness.)
Following up on yesterday’s joy in learning a few new terms for collective nouns in English, I found myself wondering whether there were any interesting names for a group of squirrels. Indeed, squirrels did not disappoint: one say “a scurry of squirrels.” I find this especially pleasing, given that squirrels do tend to scurry.
This member of a scurry appears not to be in a hurry.
A furry member of a scurry, showing off the fluff of its tail in the sunlight.
A blurry flurry of a departing scurry.
In fact, at least 2 of these photos are of the same squirrel, so perhaps this is an insufficient quantity of squirrels to form a scurry. (Does anyone know the requisite number of squirrels for a scurry?)
Okay, this really isn’t about me. I just wanted to use that line for a title to go along with this photo of this cute little alligator baby.
Though things have been quite hectic the last few weeks, and I seem to have been able to mostly keep my head above water. (My kids, though, have actually been taking swimming lessons, so they have been learning to keep their heads below water.) (Really that doesn’t have much to do with anything, aside from being one more thing in our only super-packed schedule, at a time when there are big things going on in our lives. Thus making it harder for me to keep my own head above water. Metaphorically speaking. Happily, the swimming lessons don’t involve dunking me. Wait, did I saw that this wasn’t about me? It totally is.)
But I also do really like this photo of this cute little alligator baby.
Whenever I’m feeling stuck in my life, I like to go to the zoo to remind myself that I am not actually trapped in a cage like those poor suckers.
This monkey has lost count of the number of days it’s been stuck in the cage.
A family of lemurs are plotting their escape, if only they can get their paws on the right tools.
A porcupine struggles to smell the sweet scent of freedom outside the cage.
Last week I posted photos of 3 animals looking at me sideways. This week, in deference to my feeling that I am hopelessly behind, I will share some photos of animals from behind.
I wonder how many among you can say that, today, you expected to be mooned by a tapir. Anyone? I thought not.