06 June, 2011

Newts & Salamanders

It has been a wet Spring here in the Willamette Valley. Cold, as well.
 I planted my peas a few months ago, and they are now, finally blooming.
For the rest of the garden, I turned over the soil to help dry it out. Fortunately, over the years, I have added plenty of compost so my garden soil doesn't resemble one big mud ball. Even with turning it over a couple of times, it wasn't dry enough, nor warm enough until this week to plant the tomatoes.

Every tenth shovelful of dirt yields a salamander/newt. They have burrowed under the soil to hibernate and the giant human is disturbing their rest. They certainly look surprised to see the sky as I work in my garden. Since there are so many salamanders this year, it is inevitable that the shovel will slice and dice. Now, with earthworms and night crawlers, those will regenerate. But do salamanders? I couldn't find any thoughts or insight on this and I might be grossing myself out at maiming perfectly innocent salamanders. 

The real question is why are there so many salamanders in my garden? I know it's moist but it's just a bit disconcerting to dig one up. I found this blog post stating that salamanders eat slugs. Really? Lord knows I have slugs.

Newts & Salamander info here:
and also here; Northwest Salamander types

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