Monday, August 4, 2008

The Red Eft

The Red Eft is the beautiful orange terrestrial phase of the Red Spotted Newt. These creatures start out camo greenish colored in the ponds, change to the vivid orange form and live on land for a while, then revert back to the camo form as adults. Back in May 2007 I posted an entry showing the adult aquatic phase hunting in a pond. Red Efts can be locally abundant after a rain. I nearly stepped on this one at Tarrywile Park in Danbury on a very steamy afternoon following a thunderstorm, then saw seven others on the trail during my walk.
Tarrywile turned out to be a very nice park. They have 21 miles of trails on 722 acres, including several ponds and a big hill with a view towards downtown Danbury. Not to mention 6 letterboxes and 3 geocaches (that I know of). Timing is everything. This park looks like it gets busy, but because I arrived just after a big line of thunderstorms the place was deserted and, walking quietly, I saw lots of wildlife. Besides the Red Efts, I saw two flocks of turkey, 10 deer, and this really neat arrowhead, freshly exposed by the thunderstorm (see photos).

Update Feb. 2009: While at the Peabody Museum I took a look at their CT arrowheads on display and the ones that look like mine are called, "squibnocket triangular." Most webpages say they are generally 3,000 to 5,000 years old. Holy Cow!

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