Thursday, October 3, 2013

Asheville North Carolina

Growing up in Southeast Arizona gave rise to my enjoyment of the outdoors and its critters and plants.  However the species of desert grass and scrub lands are very different the Southern Appalachian Mountains.  For one thing Southern Appalachia is the salamander capital of North America while Arizona has is only one common species of salamander, the chunky tiger salamander, and it's found mostly in muddy cow watering holes.  The vegetation around Asheville, NC is extremely different from AZ with huge forests of deciduous trees, and mosses and ferns growing on every surface.  I really enjoyed the time we spent flipping moss covered rocks and logs looking for the small amphibians, and squishing around in the rain.  

Me in front of one of the only wild American Chestnut trees with a seed in my hand.  These trees used to grow throughout eastern US, but unfortunately most are now done due to a fungus blight.  
The American Chestnut

The source of all the lovey greenery; streams trickle over mossy rocks and over waterfalls.  

A big chunky Dusky salamander about 5 inches long was found under a log.  The next photo down has a baby dusky a water dog, but it's small with good camouflage. 

A red-backed salamander, plethodon sp.

This one's a Slimy Salamander.  It's really slimy, but that's it's name, too.
Here's a marbled salamander.

A red salamander who didn't want to posse for the camera! 

Jacob having fun looking for salamanders in the trees!  Just kidding!

A fantastic 2" snail that Jacob found for me! 

Hope to return soon!