Not only are we so blessed to live with the wonderful little newts but an even tinier amphibian lives here too and every now and then they come out to say "Hello". Meet the California Slender Salamander. They reside primarily within California, hence the name. However, although they were originally considered endemic to California their specie are actually comprised of twenty separate species that have been found along the extreme southwestern Oregon coastline and as far south as northern Mexico. They are considered to be the most common salamander in California but I've lived here almost half a century and this is the first time I've ever met any. Perhaps they are very shy or I was unobservant until now.
These little amphibians are not specifically protected in California yet, although it has been proposed. Despite this in Oregon, it is ... and I quote, “Illegal to hunt, trap, pursue, kill, take, catch, angle for, or have in possession, either dead or alive, whole or in part, a California Slender Salamander”. So there you have it, we have committed an illegal act by Oregon law as we have pursued (well they don't really move very quickly) and caught these little guys to photograph them. Yikes! I guess it is a good thing we aren't living in Oregon at the moment.
We didn't hurt them I promise. We put them right back where we first made their acquaintance.