Plethodontids

Dressed out in camo, they lay in wait for hapless prey to move within striking distance. They hardly move at all. Days pass, and they hold position.  Long tails, bulging eyes, and chubby little legs identify them as much as their smooth damp skin. Within strong jaws is a long tongue that will snatch whatever suitable snack comes their way, if it doesn’t eat them first. Salamanders blend so well into rock and wet that we stoop and peer close to find them, cold mountain water rushing around our ankles. Or we examine sheer, wet walls with cold mountain water dripping from rocks overhead down the back of our necks. The southern Appalachians are the salamander capital of the world, and in the temperate rainforest at the base of the Blue Wall, they hide in plain sight. ~K

 

 

 

 

 

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We depart from the main boat dock at Devils Fork State Park, Salem SC, 28676