07.22.2020-2 On my knees in a fen

I visited Bear Swamp in Ashfield, MA the other day looking for orchids that were mentioned to me by a friend. I went to the wrong part of the fen at first but did eventually find the orchid on my way out although it was quite spent at that point. But my first stop did find a Helleborine (a non-native orchid) still in bud for a possible visit this weekend.  And I also came across this lovely little orange crawler who posed patiently for me.

Although orange, these are red efts, the immature version of eastern or red-spotted newts-Notophthalmus viridescens.  I usually have to watch my step as I walk trails in the Quabbin Watershed as they are everywhere.  But I only saw this one in the swamp and it was in this little seep requiring me to muddy myself to get almost to eye level. The skin contains tetrodotoxin which isn’t very tasty to a predator so I guess they aren’t very fearful.  I say posed patiently, but it moved a lot more than most of the others I have photographed making me crawl around to get compositions.  I actually ended up lying on my side for this exposure. He/she would hold still for a second or two giving me opportunities.

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, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to 07.22.2020-2 On my knees in a fen

  1. I remember seeing them in the PA mountains when I was a kid. I haven’t seen one for a long time. Down here on the Gulf Coast we are crawling with green and brown anoles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know them, and the other salamanders from the northern woods. I have never seen one in the Lowcountry. However, Newts are listed as being here, which makes sense. What we have more of is the Siren, and many in the 2 foot range, some up to 3 feet. Great shot and obviously tells a story. Had me looking anyway 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. shoreacres says:

    I remember how startled I was the first time I saw one of your eft photos. They still startle me; that color is quite something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When walking on a trail in the woods it is sometimes challenging to step around and not on them, they can be so numerous. I’ve never seen a red one so how they are not orange efts I don’t know.


  4. Ms. Liz says:

    Love the colour of the red eft.. it’d be amazing to see these bits of brightness running around in the swamp area!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lying on your side to get a side view: how appropriate.


  6. You captured it so well!
    But kind of scary with sudden encounter of a orange coloured crawling creature.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. krikitarts says:

    I’m sorry, but I’m having a lot of fun imagining you slowly maneuvering around in various prone positions to get the perspective you envisioned. I’ve done that so many times, and I’ve found that the rewards are usually quite adequate to the effort. Yours certainly paid off here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No apology needed. I am glad you find such positions not only amusing but advantageous. It’s not that hard when the ground is wet and mushy to slide around following a subject. Glad that you find the result rewarding, Gary. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann Mackay says:

    Cor, what a spectacular little creature! And I love the name – sounds like it should be an exclamation – ‘What the eft was that?!’

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fetching portrait. Can’t think of a newt without thinking of this:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice Steve! Very colorful! Never saw one before!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Todd Henson says:

    Fantastic! I love this. Your crawling in the mud looks to have been worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Eliza Waters says:

    Such a lovely creature – beautiful catch, Steve.


  13. bluebrightly says:

    Oh, if only you had an assistant along with you to photograph you photographing the red eft. 😉 It’s a wonderful photo! There’s an odd wistfulness in the eyes, or is it a world-weary sigh coming on? Could out little eft be watching too much news, too? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Minna says:

    Very orange one! Nice catch with your camera 🙂 In Finland we only have gray-brown lizards, nothing colorful 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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