Amphibian Angst

Click image to enlarge at SmugMug

This red-spotted newt was a reluctant participant yesterday as the thunder rumbled closer and closer.

He appeared under the same cluster of Jack’oLantern mushrooms I showed you a few days ago–with another amphibian hiding therein.

But to create the shot I wanted, I had to stage the orange vertebrate over and over on the fading orange mushroom and hope to stop the blur of his motion.

What I notice looking at the full resolution image is that the tiny black spots that adorn these creatures so familiar to us, spring until fall, is that the dots are three-dimensional–tiny raised rugosities that–duh–give this creature its rough instead of slimy feel in the hand.

I would have stayed until I got the shot I wanted (with the iPhone 6s default camera app and flash) but the thunder was bearing down upon us and there was a certain degree of photographer angst as well just at that moment.

And more storms are rolling in as I send this post off into the soggy ethers. We are thankful for every drop. Or at least most.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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