06.15.2014 One Red Eft out of many

How do we know what carnage we wreak when we walk in the woods?  Obviously, I am not going to sit at home or walk only on pavement all the time…and even then there is the odd insect that you don’t see and squash the little bugger.  But how often do you contemplate where you are walking while in the woods or meadows?  There is a lot going on out there that is unseen.  Aside from the insects and other small creatures, there are innumerable plants that, in the Spring, are just little buds until a big clod like me steps on one and crushes it.  I wonder how many lady’s slippers have met their demise with a KEEN imprint on them.  I guess we just do our best.  And while looking out for the smaller majority, we are sometimes fortunate to avoid other hazards.  After all, we all know what bears do in the woods.

Yesterday I visited Briggs Brook in Quabbin, Gate 14, I am pretty sure (it is not marked as a gate in reality or on my Quabbin map), and literally had to watch every step I took for fear of leaving a bit of crushed orange.  There were so many to be seen…hopefully… for the entire length of the hike.  Most stay very still so if you see one it is easy to avoid.  Red-Eft-600WebGetting eye to eye is a challenge.  Both for approaching one and for getting down.  This was with the camera on the ground and still just a bit high.

Going back to walking in the woods, the entire floor is covered with last year’s fallen leaves.  When one of these guys pops out you can tell that some have to have met their demise under a footstep.Red-Eft-July-2008-800FBThe thing is, you can crush something unseen just walking on your lawn.  I try my best to not.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Animal Behavior, Closeup Photography, Fauna, Nature Photography, Quabbin and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to 06.15.2014 One Red Eft out of many

  1. It is so amazing how large our imprint is on the world.


  2. Hi Steve,

    I agree with your concerns here. These are fabulous images by the way. What a beautiful and mysterious animal. I have not seen one, but who knows, maybe I just wasn’t looking, or rather seeing. I think the second is a slight favorite, but both are superior portraits. Fabulous color. Now why is it I have the sudden urge to buy car insurance!? Thanks for sharing.



    • This time of the year they must be on every trail of every gate I’d bet, James. But it is pretty easy to miss them. Once you start looking, I’ll bet you see them everywhere.


  3. Lottie Nevin says:

    I think I’m falling a bit in love with these orange fellas – maybe it’s the dutch in me (the orange part!) they are so striking. Yes, I also worry about crushing things, though most of my walks take me on tracks through the olive groves so hopefully I don’t do too much damage. BTW thanks for answering my question yesterday on the colour, it hadn’t occurred to me before that it might be something to do with being eaten! Great pictures as always, Steve.


    • Thanks, Lottie. It’s impossible to not wreak some kind of havoc. I forget the exact number, but there are a ridiculous number of springtails alone in every cubic meter of soil. I believe in the tens of thousands or more. They are quite tiny.
      Most everything in nature revolves about furthering the species. So evolution has created all sorts of strategies including messages and camouflage to help with maintaining a healthy population and keep it balanced. It’s we humans that muck things up.


  4. Just Rod says:

    Great photos. Watch your step is good advice.
    We were driving fairly slowly yesterday when a squirrel decided to dash across the road. He/she saw the car approaching and stopped, then couldn’t decide which way to run.
    Although our hearts were in our mouths it was kind of humorous as the squirrel did some dodging manoeuvres like football running backs. Thank goodness it made the right decision in the end and kept on its original course. In the rain I couldn’t have done much to avoid it.

    By the way Rod 3 ticks 0 😃


    • Thanks, Rod.
      Yeah, personally I think it’s a game the squirrels play to see how many Chevies and Fords they can rack up in a season. One of my least favorite sensations is the thump when one misjudges things.
      I found my first tick today after two weeks of wearing treated clothing. And I am pretty sure it hopped on me while I was working in the yard rather than thrashing in the woods and fields this morning. I am so pleased with how well it has worked that I ordered a pair of treated pants from LLBean. Good for 70 washings. 🙂
      So are you saying you have been out 3 times with no ticks or that three ticks latched on to you and you removed them without incident?


  5. These are fine looking photos of the eft. It’s a cute little critter but not as cute as the princely frog.


  6. Lyle Krahn says:

    There is a lot going on in every part of the natural world and it takes a knowledgable and keen eye to spot it. These orange creatures are wonderful – I’ve never see them before. You did a great job of photographing them. That looks like fun.


    • It is fun, Lyle. More fun in the leaves than the gravel though. It is amazing just how much we find out that we walk right on by once we “discover” something. See something for the first time and the next thing you know you see it all the time…,within reason, of course. 🙂


  7. benrowef64 says:

    Stephen it is true we don’t tend to think about what is under out feet as we walk. Good job this little fella is bright enough to be noticed.


  8. Phil Lanoue says:

    I would really enjoy being able to walk around out in nature and be able to spot and photograph these amazing, bright orange guys. These photos are super and I’m glad I was able to view them through your lens,


  9. tomwhelan says:

    These are both super, Steve – the reds glow, love the low angle in the first.
    I haven’t seen any red eft for a few years…


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