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Friday, January 17, 2014

Now For Something Completely Different

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Maybe one of the readers of this blog has a clue about the following:

Last weekend, our three cats caught and killed a small spotted salamander in the basement.

A salamander!

In the house in January?  After all the low temperatures we've been enduring here in Northern Virginia?

We've had no flooding in our basement.  And I've never seen a salamander anywhere in our neighborhood.

Anybody ever hear of salamanders being around at this time of year?  They're supposed to be in hibernation during the winter.


  1. Sorry, but I can't help. I once found a non indigenous, to Colorado, species of King Snake in my basement.

  2. Search me, AOW. All I can say is these days I think we have to learn to expect ANYTHING at ANY time. Nothing is "normal" anymore.

    I love cats, as you know, but the little dears WILL kill -- or try to kill -- just about any small thing that moves.

    Poor little salamander!

    I wonder what the INS might have to say about it. ;-)

  3. I know nothing about salamanders. Nada, zip, zilch. However, I will say that my favorite thing about living in North Idaho is our complete lack of weird little creatures. I haven't seen a snake in over 25 years. No scorpions and rattlesnakes like AZ, no mosquitoes and snakes like MN, no toxic stuff like in TX tread across our doorstep. I'm sure those things are here, but I never see them. The worse thing I've experienced is earwigs (hate 'em), but they seem to have gone away. Haven't seen one in years. I'm a very happy camper!

  4. AOW, I called in to the show today but wasn't picked up for some reason.

    Dialed the show number, hit 1 and was told I was in the queue ... and there I languished forced to listen to complaints about the left wings inability to think. Oh well.

    I am convinced an arts segment every so often has potential.

    I'm still there for the 31st which will give me time to figure out The Dear Leader's speech concerning the NSA today. It looks like change is in the air. Yeah, right.
    He didn't know we were tapping Merkel's cell.

    Hey Barrack. I as born at night but not last night.

    1. Duck,
      WC was running the switchboard, so I have no idea why your call wasn't picked up.

      Do you have Skype? If so, there is a way for you to signal me if I'm signed into Skype (I usually am).

      I didn't hear Obama's speech yesterday. I'll find it on the web.

  5. I don't know much about salamanders, but I do know they hide under leaves and other warm places until the temps rise enough for them to go to out and breed in pools of water.

    We get geckos in our house all the time because they like the warmth, but I've never seen a salamander. Perhaps they prefer cooler temps.

    1. There aren't pools of standing water in my basement. There is a sump pump, however, so there's a pool underneath the pump.

      My house is quite cool most of the time -- and the basement is even cooler than the living levels.

      We don't have many lizards in the D.C. area. Well, except in the worst heat of the summer; at that time of year, we might see a lizard or two.

  6. I read that about one third of the known salamander species are found in North America, and the highest concentration of these are found in the Appalachian Mountains region. Also, some Salamander's eat cats.

    1. It would take a salamander the size of an alligator to eat Cameo!

  7. If he was living in the relative warmth of your basement before winter set in that may account for him not being in hibernation. Or he may have awakened a few weeks ago when the temps rose into the 60's. It did that here and got so warm that some of the spring peepers came out. Unfortunately 60's in the morning were followed by a sub zero plunge that night I found a flash frozen frog outside the garage.

    1. Viburnum,
      Hey! You might be onto something:

      If he was living in the relative warmth of your basement before winter set in that may account for him not being in hibernation. Or he may have awakened a few weeks ago when the temps rose into the 60's.

      Makes sense.

      Our cellar isn't particularly warm -- except when the dryer runs. I did have the dryer running on the day that our cats found that salamander.

  8. Info here:



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