|Northern red salamander|
Where is this summer going? It’s zooming by. I only have a few weeks left of adventure camp. The days are growing shorter, and I needed my headlamp this morning. The millipedes are out, and they are a late summer resident on Roundtop Mountain.
The kids at adventure camp caught a huge crayfish this week, one whose pincers were a good two inches long. The salamander is, I believe, a northern red salamander. For a while I thought it might be a juvenile long-tailed salamander, which Beaver Creek has in abundance. But after studying photos of both, today I’m going with the red salamander.
Kids at camp catch a variety of things. Crayfish are the most common. Nearly everyone catches one or more of those. Salamanders are caught less frequently, though nearly every group of kids catch at least one. Other kids happily ignore crayfish, salamanders and minnows and prefer to catch water striders (or water skppers or water spiders). I don’t know why. They certainly aren’t that exciting to me, but there’s a reasonable minority of kids who think netting water striders is the coolest thing they can do. Whatever. As long as they are enjoying themselves.
Now that summer is past its early days, the millipedes are starting to appear. One thing I’ve learned in the years I’ve been doing adventure camp is that kids are fascinated by millipedes. They will happily line up with flattened hands and let millipedes walk across their hands, sometimes racing to the end of the line after the millipede reaches the next set of hands to line up again. It’s a kid thing. I mean millipedes are kind of cool but I never put them in the way cool category of things. Kids, however, are thrilled with them.