Monday, May 23, 2016

Giant in the Woodpile

Yesterday afternoon I was moving one of our wood piles to make some parking room in our driveway. When I got down towards the bottom of the pile I could sense something looking at me. It's kind of weird that as humans we can have that sense isn't it? Sure enough when I looked down to my right and I could see these dark brown eyes looking up at me from under a piece of wood. At first I thought it was a giant toad covered in dirt. Then it dawned on me that it was a giant salamander. In the area where I live they used to be called the Pacific Giant Salamanders but now after some reclassification they are now known as Coastal Giant Salamanders endemic to California. The family of Pacific Giant Salamanders are the biggest terrestrial salamanders in the world! They can grow to be 15 inches or more in length. Their skin is covered in a really amazing camouflage pattern. They also have teeth in both their upper and lower jaws. The coolest thing about them is that they can vocalize kind of a bark similar to a dog though I have only heard one do it one time. It's really cool to find one as they are primarily nocturnal so they are rarely found in the daytime. One other strange fact is that adults of this species may be terrestrial or aquatic. The aquatic ones have gills.I captured the salamander and photographed it with a macro lens. After the woodpile was rebuilt I let it loose back into the pile so that it could have a safe place to live. God's love and blessings upon your week, chrisImages created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. both handheld and on a small Slik tripod.


  1. Those are cool! Have never seen one in the wild.

    1. I only get to see them maybe one or two times a year. I love the camo pattern on their skin.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping in for a look and commenting, Brian.