Oregon Fall 2017 Trip Day 1: Buddy Creek Always Delivers

DSC_0009_26After checking the weather predictions for my week long trip to Oregon I had a lot of hope. Rain. I took the opportunity to visit one of my favourite places from my last trip: Buddy Creek in the Mcminnville Rotary Nature Preserve. It’s at the riparian zone close to the edge of the park.

My optimism was rewarded with a slug in a tree!

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No I’m just kidding-  it was rewarded with, on DAY ONE, several amazing Rough Skinned Newts (Taricha granulosa). Here is the first (best photographed) one.

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I walked up to the river bank, but couldn’t go any further as the creek was a lot fuller than it was in the summer. (see the first picture up top) I was just about to turn around and go back to the trail when I spotted this little guy(?) ambling across some leaves. Given the great salamander trials I endured last time (I spent five days looking for salamanders until I found 3 on the last day) this was a very happy find.

I took as many pictures and videos as I could (I’ll add gifs when I get home as I can’t make them on my laptop) before my camera battery died due to not really been charged properly before I left. He was remarkably still too, which helped me to take over 100 photos and a few minutes of video – mostly comprising his neck going in and out.

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He was curled up so neatly on this huge leaf.

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Rough skinned newts are known for being particularly toxic but only if ingested (so I was safe mom) – in fact only a subset of garter-snakes are known to be able to eat them!

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I eventually pulled myself away, to let this little guy be, and resumed hiking the trail. Even though my camera was dead I couldn’t help but look under every log and rock – hoping for more.

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I stopped to admire a fallen tree with a particularly striking red coloured wood and then boom! Newts! It started with just the one, ambling as they do along the forest floor. I took a few snaps with my phone. As I was focused on this one, one fell from the sky and landed on a leaf right in front of me. I was pretty excited.

I saved this gps location on my phone as NewtTown and intend to return … By the end I had gotten to see several of these amazing newts. Also amazing: zero frogs.

 

The trail continued and so did I until we came upon a small wet pondy area. I remember asking my friend he would mind if I checked it out – we were already over an hour into this adventure. And so I checked, knowing full well my camera battery situation. I remember actually saying, as I was pulling over a log, “There better not be a salamander under here because I won’t be able to take any good pictures of it.”

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Brilliant. What a beautiful salamander. This is possibly a Black Salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus).

I think the sadness I felt not being able to get any good shots was mitigated by the knowledge that a) I saw those amazing newts and b) I’d be coming back. 🙂

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Oregon Fall 2017 Trip Day 1: Buddy Creek Always Delivers

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