My daughter named one of the three salamander larvae we collected today “Marble” because they are Marbled Salamanders. Their little gills are miraculous. We will release them back into the same vernal pool where we found them, though collecting in general is frowned upon and releasing is also due to the introduction of disease. However, we have taken precautions, will not handle them at all, will feed them the obligate species we collected from the same location (copepods, fairy shrimp) and will only have them in captivity for a couple of weeks. We found them in a wet spot/puddle on the side of the road that I’ve noticed has standing water for long stretches of time. Ah the magic that hides among decomposing leaves in wet spots. My girl kept saying things like, “This is so much fun”.  “Let’s stay here longer.”  I’m so glad that even though she’s growing up in this family, where studying the natural world is called “work” for her Mom, she still finds wonder there. There are plenty of times when I hear, “Mo-om, we do NOT want to go fishing!  We fish ALL THE TIME with you at your work.”  (You could substitute “hiking”, “camping”, “fire-making”, “river walking” or “outdoor cooking” and I’ve heard them all over time.)  That’s not a bad problem to have,  Still, I was really happy the three of us got to muck about together today.  The sallies are on the counter, blessing this house.

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