Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Further Thoughts on Slime; Table Mountain, 3/23/12

Here's the California Slender Salamander, Batrachoceps attenuatus, that I mentioned on yesterday's post.  I found it under a small piece of basalt nestled in a bed of Star Moss.  In a matter of weeks, as the soil on Table Mountain dries up, this fellow will have done his breeding and will head down the deep cracks where he will spend the summer 20 feet or more below the surface.  The second photo is of a branch of wild grape covered with slime mold.  I approached from the backside and grabbed the branch without seeing the slime.  A discomforting feeling, for a few seconds, but I quickly washed it off in the creek and was no worse for the wear.  Dried my hands and got a couple of photos.  It was actually kind of pretty with streaks of different colors like the stalactites in Carlsbad Caverns.  I wonder if the colors represent different species.  I also wondered if many hikers carry hand sanitizer.  I don't believe in the stuff; just curious.

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